A while ago I watched CNN Heroes, an awards show that honors people who are saving the world.
The first Hero honored was Maria Ruiz, a Texas woman who works the night shift, then comes home every morning to feed her five children breakfast and walk them to school. Then, instead of sleeping, she packs up her van with food and drives to the Mexican border. She waits at the border for three hours each way, to deliver food to the hungry children of Juarez, Mexico. Every day.
The second Hero was Yohannes Gebregeorgis, who established “Ethiopia Reads,” which provides public libraries and literacy programs to impoverished Ethiopian children.
Next was Carolyn LeCroy from Norfolk Virginia, who started the “Messages Project,” helping children stay in touch with incarcerated parents through video messages.
Next came Viola Vaughn. She moved from Detroit to Senegal to retire, but when a group of kids asked her for help with their classes, she began a program that has helped hundreds of Sengali girls graduate from school and start successful businesses.
After each Hero’s story was told, he or she would accept a trophy and give a speech. The audience, made up of celebrities and regular Joes, clapped earnestly in their seats and wiped stray tears here and there.
And then Christina Aguilera came on stage and sang the song “Beautiful.”
And as soon as she was done singing, the entire audience rose to their feet to offer a three minute standing ovation …FOR THE FIRST TIME ALL EVENING.
I sat stunned on my couch, hoping that maybe I’d missed the announcement that Ms. Aguilera had just cured cancer.
Nope. She just sang really, really well. Heroically well.
This, my friends, confuses me.
I’m not saying…I’m just saying.