Yesterday the 77th Royal variety performance took place in Wales (UK), in the presence of HRH Queen Elizabeth II. This charity event takes place on a regular basis and can also be considered as a showcase of popular talent.
However, I have difficulty in coming to terms with the report that the general public (what does that mean?) stood outside the venue in the freezing cold for several hours to spot the stars or celebrities. This is a topic that I have written about before but it is something I feel very strongly about. Just because certain people have musical talent does this make them role models? The answer has to be no. It is almost as if society has moulded itself into a hierarchical existence. The 5% at the top appear to be chosen through inconsistent, contradictory and glamorous criteria.
Interestingly, the BBCTV (UK) has been broadcasting a terrific series on the developing city of Dubai called Dubai Dreams. Dubai is now a leading tourist resort and has had a major infrastructure and construction development for the last 20-30 years. Their shiny skyline shows years of investment and new settlement. When I visited Dubai a few years back the roads were clean with drivers seriously adhering to traffic disciplines. The sand was white, the people were friendly, the hotels and shopping centres were plush and the tours are extremely fun. With regard to the latter, if you ever visit do take the sand safari trip (NB only if you love 4 wheel drive jostling). Last nights episode featured an American lady originally from Seattle who had married an Arab and had spent the last 20 years in Dubai. She is also passionate about helping children and many women that may have been caught-up in the unfortunate net of trafficking humans and abuse.
The pace of the programme was fast as it attempted to keep-up with this ladys support activities: rescuing children, setting-up a shelter and meeting-up with the Body Shop founder to collaborate to support its charity. In my mind this is an example of commerce coming together with Charity. It shows us that there is another way to help people. Clearly, government support is also essential but many selfless volunteers are not appreciated. One of the questions asked by the Body Shop founder to this lady was, Do you have a web site? The answer was no. Hey! Clearly a web site could help but the situation on the ground is the true reality.
It is the same with the Pakistan relief fund. Only $120M of the overall pledged amount has been received.
We are in a society of contractions. A night out at the theatre or rushing out to watch the latest Harry Potter is a sense of escapism from the reality of life. Im certainly not suggesting guilt or the removal of personal pleasure. I would like a society where true heroes are acknowledged and the theme of equality rises high in our minds, motivating us to help others and support those that challenge evil.