Monday, February 26, 2007

Yes, there is a Fairy Godmother

I heard ages ago, in the news, that Oprah was building a school for girls in South Africa. And I thought, well there Oprah goes again, doing her amazing goodness in the world, because she's awesome and powerful like that.

Now I am watching her "Building a Dream" show, where she shows her interviews with these little girls who are trying to get into her school. And I am a blubbering mess of tears. It is like Extreme Home Makeover, 10 times over.

It's unbelievable, the kind of hardship these little girls go through, and how they maintain the most amazing fortitude, confidence, and integrity. And they are such beautiful, bright, articulate girls. Everyone should just go an adopt a little African girl.

They are in poorest of predicaments, living in shacks, without bathrooms, without running water, in dangerous neighborhoods where men grab at them as they walk home from school, and many of them have lost parents to death or by abandonment. It's heartbreaking.

Then you see Oprah make all their dreams come true, in a over-the-top, beautifully designed, new school, with every detail overseen by Oprah. As you watch the girls get so energized and ecstatic about it, you know these girls are not just going to make it in this world, but they will be the leaders of tomorrow.

I love Oprah. I think she does some amazing, inspiring things. I can only watch her shows on occasion because I can only handle so much emotional outpouring.

There was another Oprah episode I caught about a month ago, called "Breaking Down Barriers" --where a high school conducted a full-day, cathartic exercise, called "Challenge Day," where all the kids open up about the abuses felt by high school culture (clicque / popularity dynamics / social ridicule / racism / sexism, etc.). And, of course, all the teachers and students apologize to each other and learn to respect each other much more. Again. I was bawling. Ridiculous tears.

Anyway, Oprah's gotten some criticism for spending so much on one school, making her charity work into publicity stunts, or dismissing America's kids for being unappreciative of their education, but I'd say she's done plenty more good than most other people have in the world. And I think it's okay that she's proud of her charity events. She's using her celebrity status in a good way. It brings causes, problems, and solutions to light, and it gives hope to people. Why do people have to be such haters!?

But I also wonder about the other underprivileged girls or boys, who don't have the remarkable grades, self-esteem, tenacity and strength that brought these South African girls to Oprah's attention. Who's going to help them?

Maybe Madonna should give it a shot, since she wants an African kid, anyway.

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2 Comments:

Blogger mamapork said...

I thought Madonna already have an African kid named David, no? (lots of controversy about it too 'cuz the kid has a dad). Oprah is ONE fairy angel I must say, I love her - we need more celebrities like her making a difference in this world with their wealth.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth J. said...

Have you read Princess Bubble? This is a fairy tale Oprah would be all about!

7:20 AM  

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