|When it really counts, who can you count on?|
A few years ago I "met" a reality TV personality via email. I was involved in organizing a charitable event for a friend and the celeb had gone to school with my friend, so he wanted to be involved as well. He sent me an email letting me know he wanted to help. I was rather shocked, but I thought it was great that he wanted to help. We exchanged a series of emails and I actually started to feel like I was getting to know him a little.
He made a small contribution to the cause and then offered to help with the fundraiser. It was hard for me not to "judge" his gift, because I imagine that he could have donated a substantial amount, but I realized that was not the point. He did contribute and he wanted to help. So, I thanked him for his effort and gladly listened to his idea. He started by sending out a message "tweet" to all of his online "fans", offering a personally autographed prize for the fan that sent in the biggest donation.
I thought it was a great idea and I was honestly thrilled that he wanted to help our cause! As the first donation rolled in, I was thrilled to see $100 as the very first gift! I had high hopes that our "celebrity endorsement" would really bring in some desperately needed funds.
As the day continued, I got a message about the $100 donation that had been received - it was not from a "fan" as I had believed, but rather from someone else. The timing had me believing it was a result of the tweet that had been sent out by our reality star. As the fundraiser continued, I watched for the donations to roll in, but they never did. Not a single contribution was made from the efforts of the celebrity.
The charitable event did just fine - we did not suffer because a "celebrity endorsement" had never been part of our fundraising plans. But I believe the so-called "star" suffered a major setback. He realized that day that
Having THOUSANDS of fans is not the same as having a single friend.
His influence, albeit for good, did not stretch like he hoped it would. While his intentions were admirable, his reach was little.
When all of this hit me, I began to feel sorry for the celebrity. He joined the reality TV world in hopes of making it big, and some would say he succeeded, but at what cost? I never received a follow-up email from my new online pal. I would guess that he was too embarrassed to respond. His websites will tell you he has thousands of fans, but all the fans in the world won't replace a true, loving friend.
So much for being a celebrity. I would rather have my imperfect, but loving real friends than all the money, "status" and fans in the world.
Real friends are the rainbows of life - they may be different sizes and colors, but they always appear when a storm hits and you need hope the very most!
What are your thoughts on friends and fans? Have you had a true friend that helped you when you really needed the help? Please share your experiences with us!