Sunday, December 21, 2008

Exiled

The Boy and I were watching TV this afternoon when we channel-surfed onto MTV's Exiled. The show is about incredibly wealthy kids in their late teens who do not understand the value of a dollar. The kids are so spoiled and pampered that they demand to be treated like royalty and catered to 24/7. In the one episode we sat through, a boy was exiled to Morocco to learn what hard work means. He had to pick up camel dung, dig for fossils, build walls out of clay and mud, and dig trenches for water in the garden. I have no doubts about two things: the Berber people live hard lives, and the brat took absolutely nothing meaningful about money or the value of stuff away from his trip.

The Boy and I sat in utter disbelief about the "I can'ts" and the "I'll die if I have to's" this kid threw at his host family. It was embarassing to think that someone could be so disrespectful to another person's way of life. The male host that helped the kid through the seven days of his exile was truly patient and gently encouraging, and they seemed to get along toward the end, but I think he was laughing at the kid on the inside. So heartbreaking...

I think the bottom line with the show (beyond the hilarious shock factor) is to teach the viewer to be thankful. Just like my Thanksgiving post last month, I'm not going to list things out that I'm thankful for: the list would invariably be too short. Is it wrong to say I live a life where my 800 square feet is enough and that I'm happy with what I have? It's so much even if the curtains don't exactly match. I don't need to be exiled to know that I have it pretty damn easy.

And no, I don't recommend the show. Spoiled brats being disrespectful in foreign countries is not a good or remotely educational way to spend an hour of your time. I suggest the History Channel instead!

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