Friday, February 4, 2011

If you had $700,00 to give away

            I have a question.

             I had the great good fortune to go to one of the best small colleges in the nation, routinely ranked among the nation's most desirable by Newsweek’s annual poll. It’s a school that honors great teachers and encourages and develops critical thinking.  

            Part of our reunion gift my old college class is planning to donate to the college is an outdoor kinetic sculpture  by George Rickey, entitled Double L Eccentric Gyratory.

             It's a beautiful, graceful piece stirred in surprising ways by the slightest breath of wind.  Two stainless steel L shapes are poised on a fulcrum and move slowly, or not, seemingly responding to the forces of another world.  Or, if you prefer, two angular shapes, separate and identical, graciously and powerfully demonstrate emotional equilibrium.  Or, if you prefer, some other metaphor like courtship.  It is a sculpture that inspires thought. 

        It’s also a very large sculpture, 26 feet high and weighing several tons. It's currently in front of the San Francisco Public Library.  And previously exhibited at the Pepsico sculpture garden in Purchase, NY. 

       The cost of purchasing, uprooting, transporting and installing this sculpture is estimated to be around $700,000.

            Which brings us to our dilemma. 

            A small school in the village of Bodh Gaya in the poorest part of India, sponsored by One World Children’s Fund will feed and educate a child for $4 a month.  If you do the math, you’ll find that $700,000 will teach reading, writing and arithmetic and feed, some 14,500 children for a year.  That's many times more than the little school in  Bodh Gaya could handle but you see my point.

             The need of children stuck in poverty in America and around the world is infinite.  The sculpture is beautiful.  If the $700,000 were yours to give, which would you choose?  Please feel free to comment.


cheryl said...

I think the economic climate in this country makes us think more deeply about our uses of money. And maybe of the greater good. Investing in people might be the wiser choice. It's definitely the kinder choice.

Molly said...

Important question - easy answer. That college education wasn't lost on you. I like to think that the compassion you show is shared by thoughtful people everywhere. Lovely to be touched and moved by graceful and inspiring artwork. Even lovelier to be inspired and moved to act in a truly meaningful way. The real question is could that $700,000 be raised and spent for the benefit of so many who are in need of so little to make their lives so much richer?

Romantic Dinner Bruges said...

Great your college Planning and nice details shared this post . your idea mind blowing and lovely thinking.