I guess I gotta say this…
The whole Batkid thing has me feeling some mixed emotions.
I guess since I don’t know the kid personally a lot of this is purely speculative, but… Here’s a kid that through Make-A-Wish got the opportunity to live a day as Batman. And the whole city of San Francisco turned out to support him, and that was awesome, right? I mean, what a story! Even the president made a video on Vine for him.
But then he was supposed to deliver an award at the Oscars with Andrew Garfield (Spiderman), but there were “problems with the script” and Andrew opted to take the kid in his family to Disneyland instead. But why was he presenting an award in the first place? Did the kid really want to do that? Or was it for us?
And now he’s thrown out the first pitch at the Giant’s game, and I have to wonder if the poor kid hasn’t become our Make-A-Wish. Is this for really about him? Or is it about us feeling better about ourselves? Is this just San Francisco trying to cling to a day that was truly magical, making their favorite monkey grind out another dance? I just worry that this boy’s been turned into a celebrity for his own good or for exploitative reasons (even if there are good intentions paving this road to hell).
And then at the same time there are countless kids out there that get stiffed for their Make-A-Wish. They get a couple hundred bucks to spend at GameStop or a day riding horses. And they feel so ill and tired that even those wishes feel like chores. They aren’t getting this focused media attention, because they didn’t have the marketing this kid’s getting. Because they don’t have the outpouring of support coming in. And while that’s a good thing for the reasons they aren’t living under the media’s scrutiny, it’s not very fair.
And then there are the kids we don’t hear as much about. The ones that make a wish that benefits others. The kids that ask for donations to be given to a good cause or to the friends that stuck with them through the tough times or for something for mommy or daddy or their brothers or sisters. The kids that face uncertainty with selflessness. I’m not saying we need to have a national microscope on these kids, but we could be doing more for their dreams too.
I’m not knocking Make-A-Wish. I think it’s one of the best programs out there. They definitely make a difference. I just don’t know if in this case that it’s really about the kid.