The last thing I want to do is throw cold water on the efforts of any person or group attempting to do good in this troubled world. I would go so far as to point everyone's attention to the mega-concert that is going to be held on the twelfth of next month to aid the victims of Superstorm Sandy. 12-12-12 is a very auspicious occasion, with a lineup to match: Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Roger Waters, and The Who. Sure, this roster of stars might skew to a particular demographic, but that would be more of that cynicism that I am making efforts to avoid. The hope is that this show will bring badly needed donations to those hit hardest along our eastern seaboard. The devastation there brought me, in addition to texting along my donation on my antiquated cell phone, to the blood bank where I gave a little bit of myself in those first few days. That bit of giving was spurred on, in part, by the one hour telethon NBC and its networks.
That one reminded me of the one they held on behalf of the victims of Katrina. And the one for the victims of September 11. Band Aid. We Are The World. Farm Aid. Good people doing good work. Giving. Caring. Raising awareness.
I was riding to work the other day, looking at the squalor piled up at the curb, looking at the homes I knew that were empty because of the foreclosures. Watching the oddly bundled, hunched over men and women picking through those piles, searching for plastic and aluminum. Or maybe a new blanket. And I wondered when their telethon would be. Across the country, we have millions of victims who lost their homes without a stiff breeze or an earthquake. They are still waiting for the concert that will bring them relief.
So I'm suggesting, respectfully, that if you want to give nationally, that's a good thing. But don't forget to think and act locally too. The storm hasn't passed yet.