A Hidden Gem: “The Secret Millionaire”

Great New Show on ABC

“If you ever want to feel good about yourself, go help somebody else.” – John Ferber on “Secret Millionaire”

 As humans, we all cry tears. This human precipitation is nourished from the good, the bad, the special, and the extraordinary experiences that we feel in everyday life. To go a step further, it all comes from being touched by the human experience of the kind thoughtfulness and selflessness of those that we may encounter.

While taking the time to decompress from truly one of the hardest weeks in a long time, I found myself  retreating to the activities that have provided me with the most comfort: my books, my favorite TV shows, my recipes, and meditation. However, while watching these TV shows, I didn’t expect to be so touched by a new show on the ABC network entitled, “The Secret Millionaire.”  When first reading the name, I thought to myself, “Oh here we go again. Here’s another show that is going to “teach” a highly successful millionaire what it means to be poor temporarily which will result in a few crocodile tears, but inward gratification for being able to go back to their success at the end of the week.” However, I was gladly surprised when I watched the show and saw this was something different.

Instead of having millionaires pretend to be poor for a short period of time, it covered the experience of each individual randomly sent to live in an impoverished area for about 6 days on the wages of welfare for that particular state – this averaged around $45-55 for a week. Each person, keeping their financial success a secret, then voyaged into their neighborhoods to find volunteer organizations that were striving to make a difference. The individuals formed bonds with these people as they shared stories, experiences, and the need for more people to help in making a difference. What I liked the most about this series was its dependence on people and their fulfillment in making a difference. People embraced each volunteer as if they were an angel sent from God and did all they can to make them feel welcome and a part of the experience. 

 I was also impressed by the individuals selected to participate in the program. As a viewer, we weren’t confronted with snobbishly repugnant millionaires that were being forced to give money. Instead, it revealed the humanity, personal background and struggles of each millionaire to get where they are. This not only compounded their experiences, but it laid the foundation for relationships and connections to be made amongst the people they would encounter on their journey.

This show was an inspirational, tear-jerking experience that not only left me feeling lighter than a feather, but excited about humanity. Needing recuperation from my personal pursuit of success at my current job,  this show really got me thinking. Rarely in the busy clutter and chatter of our own lives do we take the time to think about how we can make a difference.  Although some of us do, many of us don’t do it enough. As we see the billboards when walking down Time Square and are confronted by the various shows with celebrities, models, athletes, and superstars, it’s hard to realize that these people represent so few of our everyday realities. Yet, we cling to them and the possibility of living the dream of success and fame as if it were the water that nourished our bodies.  And, I don’t think this is a bad thing; we all need entertainment to allow us to escape the harsh realities of our situations whether it’s being on the big screen or wanting to produce the shows that we see.  Coming from a performance background, arts and entertainment also play a unique and important role in the lives of many people. For this, I am grateful because my own experience and training has allowed me to be a better person, businessman, scholar, and artist.

I just wanted to take the time to express my gratitude for such a great show that not only touched me, but showed me that it doesn’t matter how much money you make, giving back comes in more than just a check. Being willing to just offer words of encouragement, your time, and your creativity to help someone else will not only make a great impact, but it will change your life too. The first step to becoming successful is to understand that there’s more to it than the accomplishments, glitz, and glam. As long as you are able to afford the cars, the expensive lifestyles, and more opportunities to gain monetary prominence, don’t forget the great feeling of being able to make another person smile. Even when we are exhausted with the politics and stress at our jobs, we can’t forget to make sure it aligns with our future goals and ambitions of being a better person, a better human.

We are all united in our pursuit of happiness and that’s what makes being human so important. Life can deal us some harsh blows, but with each of standing arm in arm, we can move forward to making this world and this life a better place.

As always, if it’s worth your eyes, don’t forget to cc:Keith.

Be the Change. Give Back. Get Involved.


FOR MORE ON THIS SHOW. Watch it here: http://abc.go.com/shows/secret-millionaire/video