I have been enjoying a series of television ads depicting “random acts of kindness.” Sometimes, depending on my frame of mind, they cause me to shed a few tears. Others just make me think – such as Kermit in the above billboard ad. If a frog can do it…..
Surely you’ve seen them – in one an awkward young girl, obviously new to school, seeks to find someone with whom to share her lunch.
She dares to sit at a table already occupied by four snooty little bowheads who look at her like she is from Mars. With a snarl they get up and prance off. A lone teenager nearby observes the snub, and moves over to the table to join the newcomer. A new friendship is born!
In another a young child wanders up on stage prior to a piano concert and begins to play one-fingered chopsticks while his parents in the audience go ballistic. The concert pianist comes out and joins the boy, telling him not to stop. Together they make beautiful music.
Both of these spots leave you with a warm feeling, and you are left itching to “pass it on.” Apparently that was the motivation of the sponsoring organization – Foundation for A Better Live.
Always suspect, I decided to look into who the Foundation is and what their hidden mission might be. It appears to be just what it appears to be (You may quote me on that). Here’s what I learned – according to Wikipedia which is usually pretty reliable.
The Foundation for a Better Life is a non-profit organization founded in 2000 to promote behavioral values which it sees as positive; it is entirely funded by billionaire Philip Anschutz. The Foundation creates public service campaigns to communicate its values, such as honesty, caring, optimism, hard work, and helping others, in an attempt to make a difference in communities.
Viewers are encouraged to step up to a higher level and to pass on positive values, with the rationale that these seemingly small examples of individuals living values-based lives may not change the world, but collectively they make a difference.
The Foundation neither solicits nor accepts monetary donations from the public. It is not officially affiliated with any religion, rather hoping that “the values we share transcend any particular religion or nationality”.
Anschutz’s $7.2 billion fortune came from his investments in oil, land, railroads, telecommunications and entertainment businesses.
I read somewhere else that he is considered to be a conservative Christian. After reviewing some comments on the web, I was dismayed to see some bloggers calling him a right-wingnutjob – how typical.
I love the ads – especially the one in which a mother is trying to turn her six year old into an athlete – at which he fails miserably. In the final moments he steps forward in a musical production and delivers the most beautiful solo you’ve ever heard. By then, I’m blubbering into my hanky.
I say “MORE POWER TO MR. ANSCHUTZ. Please be on the look-out for these ads, and tell me, do you think they have any kind of hidden agenda and if so, SO WHAT!