Monday, November 26, 2007

I ain't lyin', I ain't lyin', I ain't lyin...

Yesterday I nearly developed a hernia from laughing so hard while watching Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail. Tyler Perry is an amazing story teller, interjecting the right amount of humor and 'food-for-thought' that keeps your head spinning with all the myriad life lessons behind each play. His life story is also quite an amazing testimony of rags to riches, but what makes his story even more impressive is the fact that his wealth, rather than change him and embitter him towards a society that "trampled" on him for so long, has simply provided the means for him to serve people the way he's always wanted to.

At the end of the play, while introducing the cast as he usually does, he mentioned the fact that he was giving $1,000,000.00 (yes, this is not a typo, I said one million dollars) to victims of hurricane Katrina from the ninth ward district in Louisiana. To ensure that every red (or bronze) cent went to the beleaguered victims, he was not going to give the money through an agency, but was going to personally walk the streets and listen to the stories of the people. He went on to explain that the only reason he was sharing this information publicly was because he realized that many people may have wanted to give towards helping displaced Katrina victims in the past but were financially unable to do so. He further opined that, since he was able to do this primarily because of the largesse of people who purchased "anything Tyler Perry," this meant that they were also giving vicariously through him.

What an incredible way to start the week! First I get a sore stomach from laughing so hard at the ingenuity of the writing (and the brilliant ad libbing) of his play, then I get a sobering reminder of what true wealth is all about: pouring into the lives of others who don't have. You're not wealthy, so you can't give like that you say? Therein lies the beauty of wealth. It's not found only in the abundance of material possession. I am confident that you have a gift or a skill that would change someone else's life for the better if you would only be willing to share it. So I dare you! Do a Tyler Perry today and give a personal gift to someone that isn't expecting it. Can you do that for a brother?