Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of posts in the Life section that is a collection of letters from writers as varied as the choice of topics. They are just our creative way of composing our thoughts. Some of them address society’s ills, some are sarcastic, some have hope, some are critical. All of them are passionate. Enjoy.
Dear Mr. Celebrity,
Hey, Hollywood star, I saw you the other night at the Academy Awards and thought I would write you a letter to see how things are going and talk about some stuff I’ve had on my mind. I know you’ve been doing pretty well lately and making a lot of movies, and I’m sure you’re really busy. If you don’t have time to write back, don’t worry, I won’t be offended. After all, I know you have more important things to be doing.
I know this because I read the other day that you and some other popular movie stars were petitioning the president to do more about the genocide in Africa. You especially seemed to be focusing on a region called Darfur. You said that hundreds of thousands of people have died from fighting, and that millions more are starving and that the American government should do more to stop this from happening.
I agree with you, Celebrity. America has an obligation as a major player in world affairs to help bring these problems to an end. You mentioned that America should spend more money there and that the millions it spends now is not enough. You also encouraged normal Americans to open up their wallets and give all they can for those suffering to help bring food to this impoverished area. You inspired me so much, that I got my checkbook out right then and there and decided to give what money I could to help alleviate the pain those people in Africa are going through.
After all, we are a very rich country compared to the rest of the world. I was ready to start writing, but the only problem was that I didn’t know how much money I should give. I considered this for a few minutes.
I thought that maybe I would see how much money you gave, but then you and I both know I don’t make the money that you make. I also thought that maybe I would give the same percentage of my money as you give, but then that also poses a little problem. If you made $10 million a year, and gave 50 percent of what you made, then you would still have $5 million left. I make $40,000 a year, and if I give 50 percent, well, it’s hard to live on that.
So, I finally came to a solution. You seemed really passionate about this problem in Africa, so I’m sure you’re giving as much as you can to solve this. I mean, I know you realize that if you and your famous movies gave a few million dollars (a large sum) each to the cause out of your wallets (a much larger sum), then you could almost double what is being done now!
Knowing this, I decided to see how you live your life, and in what state you have placed yourself in order to give all that you can. This way, I can live the same as you, and give the rest to charity. I know you’re a movie star and everything, but from what you said about the suffering in Africa, I don’t know how you could live the luxurious lifestyle common to most in your line of work. Honestly, all I really need is an example to follow. This makes it easier for people like me to do what is right.
Did you know that if you donated $15 million of a $20 million pay check to World Vision, you could feed 500,000 children for an entire month?
Well, when I saw that you live in the lap of luxury, I figured I would hold off on my giving until I am a little better off. In fact, I’m going to start giving right after my wife and I buy our new car. I mean, I won’t ever be as rich as you, so I’m sure this is OK. I know that if you, who is passionate about the people of Africa, can have millions of dollars at your disposal and still have a clear conscience, well, then I’m definitely alright with my decision.
What do you think about Donny’s thoughts? Do you think his critique of an extravagant lifestyle is fair, or do you think he is being too harsh? Post your comments and thoughts on comment board.