A Slumdog Do

March 3, 2009

Knowing is not enough, you must apply: willing is not enough, you must do.

-Bruce Lee

Am I the only person on the planet who almost walked out of Slumdog Millionaire? I’ve been stewing about the film ever since it won Best Picture.

Feel good movie of the year? Hmmmm. Was it the part where we watched a girl kidnapped and taken in as a sex slave? Or was it when a boy’s eye was dug out with a spoon, and others were mutilated so they could an earn bonus money begging? The scene where the mother was bludgeoned to death in a pool of mud might have made some sicko smile.

Maybe it’s the Mom in me, but give me a box of chocolates and Forest Gump any day. It’s not just the violence and child terror that bothered me in Slumdog, but the stark reality that children live those lives every single day.

I’ve been to India. Intolerable conditions exist. And what do we do about it? Watch a movie and celebrate its awards? Hundreds of thousands of people will sing Slumdog’s praise, but in the end, do nothing.

As a movie actor and martial arts genius, Bruce Lee offered valuable wisdom when he said that knowing is not enough. And I agree, it’s not. We must heed Lee’s words and take action. We must do.

But how? We live half a world away. We have our own problems. Still, great groups of children in our neighborhoods are not being raped and mutilated or living in massive squalor. So, what can we do? For starters, we can send contributions to relief agencies. Google sex slavery and protest. Call legislators and demand action. Write letters to the newspaper. We can do something.

Then, it would get my vote for movie of the year.

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