Every now and then there is a headline in the news about some celebrity fulfilling a dying fan’s wish or something, such as English musician Ed Sheeran who sang a dying 15 year old her favorite song minutes before she passed away. He is being called a hero now and a great and amazing person, and he may very well be. I don’t dispute that. In fact, I have no opinion on that as I don’t know the man personally and what is in his heart, but I read something similar about Justin Bieber and countless other celebs doing such things for a dying fan and it makes me wonder because I really wish that these people would maybe also consider doing something nice for people or a young fan or whoever when they are not about to die.
I mean, why do people get all generous and giving when someone’s life is about to end and thus when it is too late? Why not be like that with the living? Why not make a young fan’s day, not because that fan is dying, but because they are a fan and doing nice things for people is decent. It is how it should be.
This sort of reminds me of people who get all mushy and generous around the Holiday season yet spend the remainder of the year not really giving a damn, including voting for policies that hurt the poor more than help them.
After all, why not help out in a soup kitchen in July? Why not gather toys and food for the needy in March? Why not help elect officials that will make sure that the needy have food year-round. People are hungry twelve months of the year, not just around the holidaya.
My message to people who want to do good is, do something nice and good for people – whoever they may be and whatever your abilities are – just because it is the right, humane thing to do. Don’t wait for a disaster to help people in impoverished countires. Don’t wait for a fan to be at the verge of death to make their day. Don’t wait for Christmas to come around to think about the needy and hungry. Don’t just gift someone something nice or call them up because it is their birthday.
A lot of suffering in the world – from the global to the personal scale – takes place everyday. Most people lead lives of quiet desperation. Out of view, to the point where it has become invisible to most and matters insomuch as it makes great first acts for celebrity Oscar vehicles.
But that is the kind of suffering and need that requires the most attention – diligently and regularly, not just once a year or on a special occasion or because someone is about to die. That is the kind of need (for money, food, kindness, empathy, a shoulder to cry on etc.) that is present year-round, not just when a holiday, a disaster or the grim reaper are around. That is because reaching out and caring do not have seasons or occasions, they should be done all the time because that is, ultimately, what makes the world a better place for all of us – from your co-worker, to your friend, to your sibling, the hungry child in the Sudan, the homeless girl in an orphanage etc. That is what shows others that you value them because being valued makes happiness possible and unhappiness bearable.