Friday, September 30, 2005
by Frances Potts
A recent article I read quoted a young woman not yet out of her teens as saying that the reason she was setting out on a goodwill mission was because it would look good on her resume.
If ever I've heard a reason for not doing a good deed, that one tops the list.
Are we steering our kids too far from the true reason for racking up achievements when we encourage them to start charting their accomplishments in elementary school so they'll have a well-padded resume to springboard them into college and beyond?
Whatever happened to not letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing, when it comes to giving of ourselves?
I think our kids are getting some strange signals about what true community service is.
I hesitate to cast a negative word about the icon of daytime television talk shows-the big O-but her hyped trip to the hurricane disaster zone was, I thought, an example of how far individuals have gone to build themselves up.
In my opinion, Oprah's TV coverage showed up nothing that hadn't already been seen on newscasts, except her need to receive adulation.
I thought it was commendable that she trucked in supplies and hauled out one dog that would have been left behind. I also thought she could have done that without putting a camera on herself so we could watch her generosity and 'bravery' as she waded two minutes into a stinking building others had been living in for days.
I thought it was a waste of manpower when a mayor and a squad of guardsmen were called into service as her escorts because she insisted on going where they asked her not to go. But, what do I know. Perhaps they had nothing else to do that day but squire around prima donnas in décolleté designer blouses.
In contrast, on the same show, we were treated to the sight of a somewhat frazzled Lisa Marie Presley who was working hard passing out emergency food supplies to survivors instead of making speeches and giving hugs. Now that, in my opinion, is the kind of stuff that deserves a place on a resume.
We've seen some of that same kind of right-spirited community service here in our valley as young men working toward their Eagle Scout status have taken on projects to help make this a better and more inviting place to live.
And now our Miss Sunnyside and her court have adopted special causes they'll work for during their year's reign. They are following the example of former courts who have, like the Eagle Scouts, turned the spotlight on the projects, not on themselves.
I thank all of them for this community service and the opportunity they'll be giving all of us to help them out with the work they've chosen to do.
They are indeed the right kind of role models. And, if we see these services on their resumes, we'll know they've earned it.