There’s hardly a person amongst us that hasn’t heard of ‘Avengers: Endgame’. In just 5 days it has made over $1.2billion in the box office. Yet we still can’t get behind a worthy cause to the same effect. Are we dooming humanity to failure?
Look, I get it. I’ve been one of those people who has been as excited as the rest of us in wanting to watch it. I’ve been avoiding spoilers like they were some sort of plague. Avoiding certain social media, avoiding YouTube, even avoiding talking to people about it unless I knew they could keep their mouths shut.
Yesterday it all got too much. I couldn’t wait any longer. I wanted to see it and I wanted to see it now. I’d waited long enough. So even though I had spent my time at work talking to a friend about how I had so much to do that evening and didn’t know how I would find the time. I dropped everything. I decided I wasn’t going to do anything but go and watch the movie.
Thing is, I’ve woken up today feeling a bit dirty, a bit guilty, a bit annoyed at myself for having done so.
Why? Because as I’ve said in just 5 days we have collectively raised over $1.2billion at the box office. The movie has consumed us. Many conversations have been had about it before and after viewing. The level of interest and excitement has been almost unreal. And all because of something as inconsequential as a movie.
I understand. We all need a bit of fun. A bit of escapism. There’s nothing wrong with that. The thing that is really bothering me is the fact I don’t think we have ever come together, and spent our money, on anything more important than that. How can we collectively spend so much money to watch a movie when we can’t even do the same thing for a cause that would make a real difference in our world?
Where’s the same level of excitement and feeling in regards to solving the hunger in the world, helping those that are homeless, those that have had to leave their homes because of war, famine, or their economic climate.
It wasn’t that long ago I saw a bit of an uproar about Notre-Dame, the Gothic Cathedral that was burned down in Paris, France. More specifically it was people being outraged at the fact that 2 extremely wealthy families were able to contribute over £200million towards the restoration of that Cathedral.
There was outrage. There was anger. How could these 2 families donate so much money for a building. Bits of stone and glass. How could an international fundraising campaign be started for a building when there are so many problems in the world they could help solve with that money. So many children starving.
Look at the picture below. Notice the amount of money raised at that time? Notice how it was horrifying and disturbing. Any hypocrisy yet?
Here’s the thing, that building is a national treasure. It’s a piece of French history. Its architecture is adored worldwide. It’s important to more than just the French people.
Now how many of those outraged people went to see ‘Endgame’? Quite a few I imagine. How many of us contributed to the $1.2billion it raised at the box office. Not for an important historical landmark, not to save starving children, but for a movie company, and just to be entertained for a few hours.
Where’s the outrage over that? Where’s the complaints about such an excessive amount of money going to waste? Going into the hands of a few people nevermind a historical visitors attraction that benefits many.
We complain about the inequality in the world. We complain about how the top 1% have a greater amount of wealth than the bottom 30%. But who do we complain about when we have collectively just handed over $1 billion, and felt good in doing so, just to watch a movie.
Can you imagine what we could have done with that money? The difference we could have made in countless lives if we all got together with the same amount of enthusiasm and put that money towards worthy causes. Can you imagine? Or are you still thinking about how fat a certain character in the movie was?
We’re all hypocrites, you and I. We live in a world of inequality. We live in a world where we would rather hand our money over to a few rather than come together and make our world a better place for ourselves and our children. We should be giving to those who have nothing. But do we? Certainly not to the extent that we will just to be entertained.
I know there are people who are dedicated to helping others. People who have given their lives to benefit those less fortunate. There are people. But they are not the masses. They are not the hundreds of thousands or even millions that have flocked to the cinema this past week.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m just as guilty as the rest of us. But stop blaming the rich for the worlds problems. Stop blaming those with money and criticising how they spend it. We are no better. The problem with the world isn’t someone else. The problem is us. The problem is you. The problem is me. The problem is where we put our values.
The problem is how we would rather give our money away just so that we can be distracted for a few hours instead of being able to come together and spend that money for the benefit of humanity.
If a movie can motivate us better than a picture of starving children or homeless people living on our streets what hope do we have? Can we really come together on a massive scale to solve the worlds problems or is our only sad hope to include a charitable donation on the price of a movie ticket?
We need to change. We need to get our values right. We need to get smart, and get smart quick. Are we in the real Endgame? Not the Endgame for the Avengers. But for Humanity as a whole?