Monday, December 12, 2005

Lead, Follow Or Get Out Of The Way!

Every once in awhile I find evidence that the American people are so far ahead of their elected leadership it makes me shake my head in wonder. I've given kudos before to Brian Williams and Anderson Cooper for their relentless and vital coverage of what is not happening in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region.

Today I'd like to extend them to another group of citizens - our celebrities. While I sometimes have a problem when they use their celebrity to forward a questionable cause, I have to cheer them for taking the lead in Katrina relief efforts. Why? Because they're giving of their money and talent for those in great need. Look at Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis working with Habitat for Humanity to create a village for New Orleans muscians who lost their homes. You just watch the ground swell that will result. And Mr. Connick - oh, yeah, he's been around from day one.

Arlo Guthrie performing in the cities along the route of the old "City of New Orleans" with the likes of Willie Nelson, another who gives of himself for causes in which he believes. Let me add a few more - Oprah, John Travolta and Kelly Preston bringing supplies in via personal jet, Chris Rock, Sean Penn, Matthew McConaughey and Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Nicholas Cage, John Grisham and Morgan Freeman. Ellen DeGeneres - maybe change the spelling to DeGenerous.

Yeah, yeah. I hear the doubters saying its all for publicity. I don't think so. There are easier ways. We sometimes forget that they were just folks like the rest of us at some point in their lives. Yup. As long as those who are most able continue to share and the people have a burning desire to bring it back - New Orleans and the Gulf Coast will be just fine. The people? They're Americans like you and me. And is there a one of you out there that doesn't have a little bit of New Orleans in you? Might be music, might be food - but I'll bet its there!

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