What a nice diversion from winter’s cold and gloomy days – watching the Oscars! Just looking at the dazzling smiles of the people on the red carpet, admiring the tuxedos and dresses of not only the nominees but also their guests, and having an opportunity to vicariously join in the celebration by simply watching the Oscars in the comfort of our homes.
Yes, it was a nice diversion – until I began to think of the money spent on this event. The money spent to make sure that their smiles were dazzling. The money spent on the lovely gowns, jewelry, shoes, and tuxedos. The money spent on makeup, hair styles, and tanning. The money spent on hosting this lavish affair.
Then, I think of the 99% who are lucky to have a toothbrush and toothpaste to brush their teeth but can’t afford cosmetic dental care. I think of those who push all of their belongings in a grocery cart or the people who flee their abusive relationships with just the clothes on their backs; people who are grateful for having food to eat, even if the food isn’t enough to satisfy all of their hunger; people who suffer with illness and diseases because they don’t have affordable health care.
Can you imagine an Oscar event that was scaled down – where instead of spending vast sums of money to look fabulous for one evening, a portion of what is typically spent would be donated to charity? We are in the midst of Lent, where one was traditionally asked to give up or make a sacrifice during the 40 days before Easter. Think of the people, the 99%, who could be served through the bounty of such a sacrifice by the rich and famous!
I invite us all to think before we reach for something we may not need. Instead of buying a nice dessert when eating out, perhaps put the money you would have spent into a collection to help needy children, buy tapeworm medicine for third-world children, or support organizations that advocate for those marginalized or oppressed. We can do the same thing when we find ourselves reaching to buy yet another shirt or pair of shoes, when what we already have is plenty.
I don’t believe that we are called to wear sackcloth and ashes during Lent; I do believe we have been taught by Jesus to care for our brothers and sisters who are in need.
With blessings and love,