Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Tuohys, Drive by Service, and Thoughts on Giving

The movie The Blindside and the story of Michael Oher and his relationship with the Tuohy's has got me thinking.

The last couple months of the year with the holidays in full force, people are often very tuned into the idea of giving and serving others.

This is good - I make no complaint. There may even be reason to suggest this time of year might even warrant a higher degree of service and giving.

Yet, sometimes I think we often check the box when it comes to giving of ourselves, time, and resources. We say "check" I did my good deed.

And I suppose checking the box by donating a little food to food pantry, giving an old coat to a local charity, and buying a toy for a less-well-off child is not to be scoffed at, especially when done in mass numbers.

Yet, I know for certain that most people can give more.

And yet, part of the reason we don't give more is because we typically only give out of the excess, giving in a way that doesn't really effect us. We grab the food out of the pantry that we don't really like or have no assigned intentions of using.

We may give to people in need around the holidays, but not to the point that we alter the way we celebrate.

And it's in this attitude, that we often do "drive by service."

It's fast, it's efficient, and it's done.

I think that is part of what is compelling about the story of Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy who's story of sacrifice is compelling, almost too big to be true, and it's real.

When the Tuohy family invite Michael Oher into their home and eventually into their family, they make a big commitment. They opened themselves up to something going utterly wrong, they took on cost. And not just financial cost, but surely a cost of some of their time, their energy, and their peace.

I think giving out of the excess is meaningful, but that giving with sacrifice is beautiful.

I think we have that opportunity in our current times more than ever.

That is what makes stories like we see in story of Sean & Leigh Anne Tuohy truly touching.

I think we want to give like that. I want to give like that.

Pictured above is the Sean Tuohy, Michael Oher & Leigh Anne Tuohy played in the movie the Blindside by Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron & Sandra Bullock. Photo from Go Memphis.


Anonymous said...

The Tuohys "service" was agenda laden and money, fame and sports crazed driven. Follow the money: they were in debt; they had a friend write a book, Michael Lewis who Sean went to school with, to eventually finance the film. They exploited the story and Michael, to the fullest, for their own gain. They started their own church, for money and power, and now this. They seem like controlling meglo-maniacs who hide behind these so called "charitable nature" that just so happens to make them money all the time. The movie was Hollywood white wash, not reality. They seem to have an insatiable need for attention, and money. Maybe someday Michael will not have be acting in servitude toward them, and can just accept he was exploited by very flawed people, and find peace in real situations. He truly has the heart in the story. The only one.

Anonymous said...

I truly feel pity for someone who is so bitter and scorned that you can truly take a heartfelt story and turn it into something negative and dirty. It shows just how low our world has fallen that you need to impose your unhappiness on everyone else. The golden rule is the true lesson from the movie apparently that fell on deaf ears.

RC said...

@ anon 1 & anon 2 ---

It's interesting - why is it that we are so quick to judge? Anon 1, who are you to judge the motives behind the Tuohy's hearts? I think there is time's when people do try to "polish the outside of the cup" and try to put on a face of good will when the inside if full of death...but to say something like "they seem like meglo-maniacs" is pretty harsh w/o trully knowing them.

Anon 2, I hope that if you felt like this is the message of the film, that you don't just complain about it falling on deaf ears...if you experienced such a message, I hope your ears heard that message and are acting it out. If you heard (and act on) the message it did not fall on deaf ears.

Unknown said...

KD said...If this had just been an average poor kid who was maybe even disabled that they had taken in and fed and clothed and adopted do you think they would write a book about it? Even more, would the Tuohy's have been so willing to take them in? Because there are people like that all over the place that have made huge financial sacrifices to take in children like that....sometimes several children and adopt them and i haven't seen any books or movies about them. I think at the heart of this is the fact that he was a great athlete, from a poor side of town and they saw the opportunity there for him in sports
and being the athletic family that they are took in this young man and turned it into a huge mega-hit.
However, I think the story is old now and it's time to quite riding this horse and may talk a little more about the ones who have really made the sacrifices. And there are plenty of them out there.
They're just too busy raising them to get up in front of an audience and brag on themselves!

Anonymous said...

Briarcrest was an Ole Miss pipeline at that time and Oher was the big prize. Don't believe the hype -- with the book, movie, and heaven only knows what Orgeron paid them, the cash-strapped Tuohys turned Oher into an industry.

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