An earthquake in Nepal kills thousands of people. A pregnant, homeless young woman sits on the streets of New York City begging for change. A child in the Philippines loses her mother, and suddenly becomes the breadwinner for her four siblings.
Is it OK?
It’s not OK. We live in a world full of situations that are not OK. They are so not OK that they are overwhelming. There are so many issues in our world, both at home and abroad, that need our attention – sometimes it all seems to be too much. What could I possibly do?
There is no simple answer. And I can’t pretend to have found a nice, neat solution. But I can do what I am good at. I can use my voice, my melodies and my stories to bring hope, to bring awareness, and to bring change, at least in one area for now, and hopefully more in the future.
I wrote the song “Is it OK” about a very different issue – it is about me struggling with my personal dreams… is it OK for me to pursue my goals, is it OK for me have these gifts and not use them to their full potential? The song is me wrestling with who I am and my responsibilities in life.
But, as people have listened, the song has taken on a new meaning. And that meaning is found within the lyric: “Is it OK to retain such a colossal amount of gold and hold it in your hand for so long without letting go?”
We hold gold. And I don’t mean cash. I mean all of our resources; our wisdom, time, networks, finances, relationships, experiences, talents… And it is not OK for us to hold onto that gold and keep it to ourselves, when our neighbours are suffering.
We shot this music video in partnership with a charity in the Philippines who work to lift those who live on less than $0.50 out pf poverty (www.caremin.com
). We have been telling the story of poverty for many years… and last year, we were trying to come up with a new, creative way to highlight what poverty looks like. So we decided to do “poverty in slow motion”.
When you shoot in slow motion, suddenly everything looks just incredible. So cinematic. The simplest, the most mundane things all of a sudden look extremely beautiful – someone blinking, a drop of water. And so when we were getting shots in the communities in the Philippines, everything looked spectacular.
But the unfortunate truth is, it actually doesn’t matter how you decide to shoot. At the end of the day, poverty is dehumanising, it is ugly, it is haunting. When you cut to the wide shots, the real time shots, the “reality”, it is then that you realise just how desperate these situations are: the flies, the rubbish, the insufficient food, the unstable shelter.
By presenting this stark contrast, we hope to shed some light on the reality of poverty.
It is not OK.
Please share if you believe that the level of global poverty is not OK. Lets not hold onto our gold; let’s share it, invest it, give it away, and make a change.