Monday, August 22, 2016

Dear Hollywood: It Isn't Evil to Give Toys to Children Who Have Lost Everything

As far as I'm concerned, the presidential election is Scylla vs. Charybdis, but I note this partisan site as it addressed something that had really annoyed me from the day before.

12 actors, journalists and other liberals who mocked Donald Trump for handing out Play-Doh in Baton Rouge

I appreciate that our society, now that it has achieved its non-theistic and nihilistic apex, is divided between those who are right and good and moral [actors and journalists, mostly], and those who disagree with them who are wrong and evil and immoral and need to be hated and mocked at all times, but the criticism of giving toys along with necessities to those in disaster areas is remarkably stupid.

All this does is reveal that people like the actors, journalists, and other "thought leaders" listed have never, ever had anything to do whatsoever with aid work in even its most passive form.  They Tweet, but they don't actually do anything of consequence.  If they did, they would recognize what it means to children and their parents to have something to distract the kids from the horror that surrounds them.

My first effort in relief work was in the mid-1970's when three-quarters of my birth town was destroyed by a series of tornadoes.  I was charged with lifting and carrying boxes, of course, but also with handing out whatever was in them.  Do you know what made me the most popular relief worker in what was left of Xenia, Ohio?  The first box I opened contained coloring books.  Mickey Mouse, mostly.  Oh, and Crayons.

In the midst of death, deprivation, and destruction, the children gained a necessary boost in morale because of some cheap coloring books donated by a Woolworth's in Akron.  Some of them cried tears of delight when they were handed them.  I never forgot that and it's something that, in one form or another, I've heard from others around the world who have worked in places of war or natural disaster.

Who would mock giving Play-Doh to children who have lost every toy, stuffed animal, and tricycle that they possessed, not to mention having lost either loved ones or family friends?  To work through grief with a toy is recognized by the sentient as an important tool in a child's healing process.  To ridicule that is beyond contempt.

The other thing I learned is that Anne Wheaton is a real potty-mouth, despite the fact that her eponymous website is sub-titled "A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way".  That's rich, isn't it?  As was learned in the 1st century A.D. [or C.E.], it is easy to pose as spiritual, but being so requires something beyond pleasant words.

To quote Homer Simpson, "Actors. They know everything."