Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What will you do with your power, fame, and wealth?

I am a total mess whenever I see suffering children. I suspect all mommies are that way and most women generally. The sight of children in poverty, pain, grief, illness, alienation...well, we fall apart.

So there I was watching one of the many adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and on the screen comes Tiny Tim. Yes, yes, I admit it...this kid was definitely created to pull at our heart strings but honestly, there really are kids like this in the world: sickly kids who are very religious and very sweet because their parents encourage them to trust in God each just endure and possibly be healed of their illnesses. So yeah, I don't think Tiny Tim is mere sentiment.

So he comes on the screen. Okay, before the kid even says something I'm all awash with tears.

Then I saw Nobody Knows which is based on the Affair of the four abandoned Children of Sugamo The kids fair a little better in this film than they did in real life where they truly suffered. But even was a tough film to watch. Slow as molasses, it pretty much traps you as you go through the harrowing slow days of loneliness, poverty, despair. (This is probably one of the reasons why my books have such odd pacing issues -- other than my need to perfect my writing skills, that is-- I watch way too many small indie arty foreign films. Never was a film so slow and so lacking in action and yet each moment is harrowing grief-inducing suspense. Yeah, I hope to write like that.

So what is all this about? Quite simply, watching these movies -- if I sit through them and honestly sometimes I just can't and I have to get up and turn off the tv or leave the room. When I saw the Iranian film, A Time for Drunken Horses, I absolutely walked out of the theater. I love these films but I honestly can't take pain.

Anyway, rambling aside, I feel that should I become a wealthy writer or a famous writer, I will use what power I have to help the poor...especially poor children. Isn't that the sign of true religion: to take care of the orphans and the widows, to feed the poor, to keep one's self unspotted from the world?
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