Oprah has been in the news lately, with the schools she had built and is opening this week in South Africa. You can Google it and get several hundred hits. I think it’s wonderful she wants to do this and apparently it fulfills some promise she made to Nelson Mandela some time ago. When asked why she didn’t build a program in the U.S. she stated (inclusively) that people/children in the U.S. have a sense of entitlement, as if they are entitled to both material things and a good education.
I translate that to mean: the kids in the U.S. don’t DESERVE it.
I’m not a HUGE Oprah fan, I never really have been. Sure I’ve seen her show and I’ve cried as she’s given people incredible gifts and fulfilled wishes for many people. But this recent media blitz just reinforced my own feelings about the self-defined philanthropy of these mega-stars.
Let’s talk a bit about entitlement, shall we? Does Oprah honestly think I believe she doesn’t feel entitled to what she has…fame and fortune alike? Furthermore, does she HONESTLY believe there are no ‘deserving’ children in the U.S. for this type of program?
She can do what she wants with her money and fame, my question is about the hundreds of media that were ‘invited’ to this grand opening. Why make it such a showy event if it’s truly done for the betterment of a nation? Clearly there is an advantage and potential gain from this media frenzy.
I know there is a need for ‘mission’ work of all kinds to be done worldwide, but I still affirm that there are needs right here in my city that need to be met. There are homeless people, hungry people, abused people, sick and dying people (children included) right here in this small city.
If your call is to go start a school in Africa…go, by all means…but don’t ever overlook the needs right there in your hometown. You may find your mission work as close as next door, or even in your own home!
Have a missional Friday!