Reading through articles about the child abuse (and probably, molestation too) which occurred during one of Willie Revillame’s segments in Willing Willie made me realize why he’s getting to my nerves. I won’t hate him (although I really want to–Jesus would disapprove though) but I’d like to give my two cents on why this madness he calls “compassion” has to stop.
First of all, the way Willie runs his show is a farcry from how noontime shows were originally conceptualized. Given, it really isn’t in the noontime slot anymore, but it had the same format when the guy was still in ABS–in a noontime slot. Noontime shows were created so that people could have fun, not so that they could be made fun of. Prizes are bonuses, but at the end of the show, everyone had fun, and that’s what is more important.
What Willie is unconsciously (or consciously, but I’d say it’s more of the latter) doing is creating people who can get what they want so long as they humiliate themselves. Ok, let’s say I’m one of the contestants and I don’t think I’m embarassing myself–in fact, by dancing in front of a big crowd I even benefit from it! Money is one thing, fame from a 5-10 minute exposure is another.
Let’s say I don’t think I’m being humiliated–it’s a matter of perspective, isn’t it?–but if dancing or singing like this in front of national television will get me food on the table, then I can do this every single day! I can line up as early in the morning as possible just so I can give my kids–how many are they again? 5-10?–food to eat.
Willing Willie is creating a culture of the poor settling for temporary “jobs” to get by. And we all know this is not how we should help the poor. You don’t give them food for today–you give them a job so they can have food for everyday.
Secondly, I really really hate how Willie claims to be the champion of the poor. He’d ditch a contract “for the poor,” humiliate kids “for the poor,” give away easy money “for the poor.” This is his version of compassion.
I say it doesn’t even deserve to be called like that, especially if you have Jesus’ compassion as the best measure.
1 Corinthains 13:3 says “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” And what is love? This is an easy one, but let’s take a closer look:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Jesus would never invite kids to His noontime show and humiliate them so that they could earn money for their family. That’s not love. He would never boast about His power, money–even His compassion!–just to get fame. That’s not love.
What would Jesus do? He would love the poor without having to rub their poverty to their faces. Jesus encouraged people to give their possessions to the poor, but He also said that the poor are more blessed because theirs is the Kingdom of God (Luke 6:20).
If you really love the poor, you should help them rise up from that state, not give them a reason to remain poor. I think that’s what Jesus would do. Willie and the rest of us should do that, too.