Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Have a Nice Day...Start a Revolution

That rather cliched phrase has just taken on an amazing new meaning for me. It 11:50 p.m. and I am sitting in my living room watching today's Oprah show that I taped earlier and am just now getting to watch. I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes...and I am officially in love with Jon Bon Jovi. OK. Before you pass out from's not the's the words...and even more, the enormous generosity of someone working in one of the most selfish and materialistic professions: rock super star. Only he's not at all selfish or self-centered. He and the band gave Oprah and her Angel network1 million dollars. It overwhelmed me. "Give to live," they said. "I love your music, but I love your hearts more," she said.

Truth to tell, I don't really like their kind of music (although I do like "It's My life" because it came out when I was fighting for mine professionally and it was the perfect anthem for me at the time...) but I so love the giving. Jon and the band have a passion for kids...severely underprivileged who don't have enough money for school they provided school uniforms and after-school clothes and back packs and a whole bunch of other stuff to some of Philadelphia's most neglected population, kids who live in a home for underprivileged kids. He built them a playground and equipped them for success in school. His mission is to "make giving a hip thing....You can start a revolution by touching one soul....When you give from your heart, it takes you to a place you can't imagine....What motivates me at this point in my career is the idea of continually giving back...because without giving back, how can you go on? The plight of families, the suffering, moves me to a place where music is trivial. Actions speak louder than words."

When Jon informed the audience that they were each getting tickets to the band's concert there in Chicago, they went crazy. "All I can say to that," Oprah responded, "is 'Have a Nice Day!'" That is the name of the band's new album and the name of this summer's tour. So you see why that old cliche is now layered with meaning for me...along with Oprah and hundreds of others who will be affected by Bon Jovi's amazing generosity.

If I worship and adore anyone aside from God (and I don't) is generous people. People who give when they don't need to, when they have absolutely nothing to gain, when there is nowhere else to turn. We have several such people who help us out at EW/GBA. My sister and her husband are two of them. They are blessed...and they are they give to those who don't have, who would be lost in public school if not for their generosity. Every year, two-three kids graduate from GBA because Lauren and Jerry have paid their way to be there and many more have been able to stay in school because she helps them out. Jerry is the behind-the-scenes source, and Lauren is the one who makes it all happen. She also bakes cookies for them, mentors them academically, calls them at night to make sure they are doing their homework, organizes and coordinates huge fundraising projects for the school and so much more...she's amazing. She is able to do what I wish I could. Give...enormously. Truth is, of course, that giving what you can is big enough. The amount is not what matters, it's the giving at all. And that I can do.

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