Little to say for myself
Saturday, March 15, 2003
..judged by results, not by intentionsCicero would have been proud of RND03 last night.
Sure, their intentions are good - a lot of people's are. I suppose even George Bush has a vestige of good intentions tucked away in there somewhere. The difference with Comic Relief is that they achieved a fantastic RESULT. Perhaps their timing was fortunate. Perhaps the whole country is brimming with despair at the tragedy unfolding in the Middle East. Perhaps we have been sensitised to the plight of the powerless. Whatever the reason, the amount of cash raised last night was 50% up on the previous RND, and it was enough to make even the dryest cynic warm to all those shallow showbiz celebs.
Tag-lines like "To change their lives..... just add water" went right through me, and I felt incredibly moved by the hysteria that greeted the running totals. People (millions of us in fact, just by pledging a bit of cash) were DOING GOOD.
Then, around midnight, we had our own humanitarian - or rather, hamsterian - crisis. My younger son, A., went to say goodnight to Jess, only to find her curled up in her bed, virtually comatose. She was cold to the touch and had the resting heart-rate of a marathon runner, instead of the normal humming bird. After a few panicky and anguished moments we warmed her up, and she slowly began to surface. She managed the odd twitch of the whiskers, but little more. I offered her a hazelnut, which she took, but it just sat in her open jaws. She didn't have the strength to gnaw it. It was obvious from her emaciated little body that she hadn't eaten in days. In despair, I warmed some milk and offered some drops in the palm of my hand. She eventually licked a little and seemed to perk up, even opening her eyes slightly. I chopped the hazelnut and she nibbled a bit. We gave her morsels of bread and she even found the strength to hold them in her front paws while she ate them. Then she seemed to slump again. She'd only eaten a scrap and the effort had exhausted her. She couldn't be made to swallow any more. By 2am, the only thing left was to put her back in her bed with a few bits of food, and cross our fingers. We all prepared for the worst.
This morning, A. burst into my bedroom at an ungodly hour, and in his hand was Jess - seemingly back to her normal perky self.
In our own little way we had experienced, in microcosm, what Comic Relief is succeeding in doing. We had taken what seemed to be a hopeless situation and we had gone in there, worked long and hard, hands-on, and solved it. It wasn't just the material resources that saved her, it was the care, concern and energy of the people applying them.
I salute not just the celebs who turn out on RND to publicise, and to raise those astonishing wads of cash, but also the people who spend the money - and more importantly their own time and energy - making the difference which turns people's lives around.
Through one relatively trivial incident, I now know how that feels.
posted by Plig | 17:11 |
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