Thursday, November 25, 2004

Obligatory guilt-inducing holiday post
On my way to work the other day, I heard a local news story on the radio. I'm working from memory here, so I may have lost some of the details that would add versimilitude and flavor to the post. What can you do? That's how these things work sometimes.

It seems that one of the cable teevee home remodeling shows is doing a house in Tacoma. The family has been sent away on a vacation while the show's hosts and a bunch of volunteers blitz through the house giving it complete makeover. The point of the news tory was the chaos of the first day of work. Seven hundred people showed up to volunteer to work on this house.

Think about that for a moment. Seven hundred people showed up to work unpaid on a stranger's house. Is the world full of frustrated carpenters who sit at home with all of their home improvement projects completed, sighing over House Beautiful magazine, looking lovingly at their cleaned and oiled powertools, and wishing they could work on someone's house? Are they really unable to find anyone who will let them replace their kitchen cabinets? I don't think so.

Most of these people were brought out by the prospect of rubbing shoulders with celebrity teevee hosts and seeing their own faces on the tube. Imagine if seven hundred people showed up clamoring to be put to work on a Habitat for Humanity project or if the various churches, civic, and Masonic groups that remodel homes for the aged and handicapped had so many volunteers that they had to turn them away. Those groups can't guarentee that your face will end up on teevee, but they can guarentee that your work will make a significant improvement in someone's life.

Wouldn't it be nice if people fought as hard for the opportunity to make the world a better place as they do for the opportunity to be seen? I'm done being self-righteous; I'm going to go back to insulting the rich and over-privileged now.

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