I know. We are all incredibly busy. If you're a Lady of Leisure like myself your day is not only filled with the adventurous swim with the sharks or random cooking class you decided to take or the ever akward disastrous dates I partake in. No, your day is probably also spent finding ways to make money. I write, cast, talent book & produce so I have a few options in jobs, but that also means that the net to find said jobs is exponentially larger, thus making the act of finding a job, a job in itself. My friend Brian says I should go into prostitution because I could make money in my sleep and have plenty of fodder for writing. I don't know though, have you seen some of the dudes that live in Culver City? Plus, way too much to explain to the catholic family and so on and so fourth. Thus, I am stuck freelancing.
But even when I wasn't a freelancer, I worked horrid hours whether it was pulling in 18 hour days at MTV and coming home to take care of my husband and dog or pulling in 18 hour days at Wendy Williams, going out at night and making it to work by 7:00AM production meetings, the thought of somehow being able to lend ANY time to something else seemed not only daunting but impossible. Who has time for charity? You barely have time to shave and you did the world a solid by hooking up with the poor pathetic guy at the bar the other night. You want to do your part, but you don't have time. Who can blame you right?
This weekend, I was reminded of why should not only make the time to help, but why it is really an essential component of well being. The Hollywood Rush took place at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Sunday and it truly was incredible. There are no words to describe the madness that was producing an event in 24 hours. Sure, there were months of planning and recruiting sponsors and working on logistics but only 24 hours in which to execute all of those plans. Its insane amounts of work with limited budgets and people wondering why on earth anyone would take on such a monumental responsibility.
This is why -HUNTERS VIDEO
Hunter was some one's brother, someones friend, someones lover, someones son, someones confidant and now he's gone. Just like that, his life was over and everyone he loved was left to pick up the pieces and figure out how to deal with his loss.
It really puts everything in perspective right? Doing work like this is essential to our development because it affords us several life lessons:
1- There are good people out there.
I forget this one sometimes and I know its easy when you don't have a job or your work sucks and all you want to do when you go home is plot ways to rob a bank and get out of your own hell hole. But there are, really great people in this world who are not only super fun drinking buddies, but who are also taking the time out of their incredibly busy schedules too, to hang out with you and do something good for someone else.
2-Things could always be worse.
This isn't exactly a "thank god you're not that person" lesson, but in that vein, yes its a good reminder that at some point, you might need the kindness of strangers too. Not that doing good gets you some sort of debit card points for when you're in trouble, but it helps remind me that if things got really bad, there are places I can go, programs I can participate in, things I can do to help myself if I needed to.
3-Mean People Suck.
Usually, the people you meet while doing some sort of charity work - are kind of awesome and in general, tend to not be assholes. It's nice to be around people who have a common goal and want to be nice and fun in the process of getting there.
4-Budgets are key.
As soon as I was done with this last project. I went home and revisited my budget. There are so many creative ways to trim money and make the most out of what you do have. Working on a charitable project is an excellent reminder of that.
5-If You're doing the right things, Good things will happen.
I actually learned that lesson from the film Undefeated, but it applies here too. You meet so many interesting people who not only need help but those doing the helping who are all struggling. But, if you keep moving forward and keep trying to do the right thing, something is gonna work out. It has to.
6-Humility is necessary.
I once spent an alternative spring break in New Orleans helping out at a soup kitchen. I met some amazing people, but the most powerful experience of the entire thing was when Sister Vera made all of the volunteers who were serving food go through the line to eat lunch after all of the homeless people had been served. I don know if you've ever stood in line for food after homeless people, but it is hands down one of the most humbling experiences of my life. To then sit down and eat with them in an abandoned church parking lot and find out what was going on in their lives was incredible. It reminded me that its not hard to end up homeless. It's not difficult to loose everything in your life. It made me so grateful and as a result, I think, I hope, a happier person.
So I guess what I'm saying is, you don't have time, not to do SOMETHING. Whether its donating money and feeling better about yourself (selfishly positive, but good nonetheless!!), or its helping out somewhere with your time, it really ends up helping you out more than the people you're trying to.