Friday, October 29, 2010

Much Ado About Heroes and Heroines...

My toastmaster buddy, Kala, whom I recently got to know through our Changi Prison Speechcraft, sent me an email on CNN Top Ten Heros.

I am glad to receive the email, for it is interesting to read of the wonderful works and contribution of the various great people.

I read through the works of the ten nominated heroes and heroines. They all play an important role to help the needy in various ways. For eg. Narayana Krishnan has given up his job as a top chef to set up Akshaya Trust to feed millions in Madurai everyday. The team will travel a radius of about 200 km to serve food to the hungry. Harmon Parker builds bridges in Kenya to help the poor cross dangerous rivers infested with crocodiles. Aki Ra helps to clear land mines to make it safer for his people in Cambodia. He and his wife also took in orphans and injured children. Anuradha Koirala saves young girls from prostitution and set up Maiti Nepal to look after these girls, give them training and hope for a new lease of life. Magnus McFarlane-Barrow, a Scottish farmer quit his job and set up Mary's Meals which feed more than 400,000 hungry children in Malawi, Haiti and other developing nations. Susan Burton helps newly released lady prisoners find encouragement and hope so that they do not go back to their old ways again. Evans Wadongo helps his people in Kenya by replacing their dangerous kerosene lamps with free energy saving bulbs. Linda Fondren helps her city of obese people to lose weight and to live a healthier lifestyle. Guadalupe Arize de la Vega helps to build hospitals in Mexico. Dan Wallrath builds free mortgage homes for returning veterans to America, especially those who have been wounded in the war in Afghanistan.

All these heroic people have something in common - sacrifice. Narayanan gave up his post as top chef in a new posting in Switzerland, but when he saw an old man eating his own faeces he was so shaken that he decided he would feed the poor and hungry in Madurai. He and his team would wake up at 4a.m. everyday to cook. He also gives free hair cut. Guadalupe Arize risks the danger of a country infested with drug war lords and criminals to provide health care for the poor. All these heroic people have done so many courageous and admirable acts - so how do we vote for the best? What is the criteria for top heroism.? How do we say that one act is more heroic than another?

CNN has already honoured all the ten heroes by giving them recognition and awards of $25,000/- each. Instead of voting for the winner who will get $100,000/- why not increase the award of $25,000/- to $35,000/-? I feel that it is difficult to determine the most heroic of them all!

I also feel that voting may not be accurate, for eg. if I were a very fat lady and I am obsessed with losing weight, I would vote for someone like Linda Fondren who helps the obese in her City of Vicksburg, Missisipi to lose weight. Or some people would be nationalistic and vote their own country man. I have been to Nepal twice and love the country and her people. Hence I am most likely to vote for Anuradha Koirala, who saves young girls from prostitution, my pet concern. See what I mean.? I am also sure that these ten great people do not like the idea of competition. They have started their projects with just wanting to help where help is needed. Seeing the fruitful results of their labour is already a great reward for them. Awards and honours are bonuses which they receive with grace and thanks. There are also many unsung heroes in the world - people who have given of themselves. I am sure the ten heroes are already happy and contented to have their works recognised.

In conclusion, I feel that CNN should do away with this voting. Take the $100,000/- and divide into ten with each hero getting $35,000/- each to further enhance their works. This would be fairer and more practical.

I hope I do not offend anyone with my thoughts. Just my two cents worth.....

Gan Cao

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant Choo Choo! I feel the same way but couldn’t articulate it as well as you.

Have a fun weekend!