Thursday, March 24, 2011


I'm not a big television enthusiast. I don't sit on the edge of my seat during Survivor eliminations. I don't watch the Bachelor, curled up in my snuggie with a box of tissues. And I am undoubtedly the furthest thing from a Glee fan as you can get.

However, I have recently become hooked on a show on NBC called Secret Millionaire. If you've heard of it, awesome. If not, go look it up.

At first glance, it just looked like another attempt to make rich people seem nicer, a seemingly impossible task by today's standards. Watching just five minutes of E! will leave you wondering how much money a year the federal prisons are getting from celebrities posting bail. You may even be inclined to become a dealer. Or worse, you may come away with the uncontrollable urge to emphatically say "Winning!" at completely inappropriate times. But, I digress.

Each week, Secret Millionaire documents the journey of a millionaire, usually a successful business owner, into extremely poor areas in America. The millionaire is given a very small amount of money to live on, and they must take on the appearance (clothes, makeup, etc.) of a person in poverty. Throughout their stay, they travel (in a beater) from place to place, visiting charities, volunteering at shelters and soup kitchens, and supporting non-profit organizations. All the while, no one knows they're secretly a millionaire. Now, the title makes sense, right?

The best part comes last, of course. The millionaire dresses back up in their designer clothing, slides on their Rolex, and heads off in their Porche to revisit each of the places. And, as you've probably guessed already, they donate massive amounts of money to each one.

Ultimately, it's not the donation part that impressed me. What inspired me is seeing these powerful, wealthy people perform such unbelievable acts of kindness. You look in their eyes while they're being interviewed, and you see more than someone looking for publicity. They have no regrets, no ulterior motives. There's compassion and incredible heart inside of these people that you just don't see everyday.

It's people like them that remind me there's hope in this world.