Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Buried Life: Doing Good Everyday

It’s that time of year when facebook statuses and twitter feeds and conversations are populated with what people are giving up for Lent. Although I am not a religious person, I think the idea to focus on being a better person is invaluable (why it only happens once a year and not year round is another matter). And, lately, I have been inspired to give back and help others not because of whatever religious season it is, but because of a reality TV show (go figure!): The Buried Life.

It’s not a sweeping guilty pleasure phenomenon like fellow MTV show The Jersey Shore; it’s not the highest watched show on television like American Idol; it’s not even Tuesday morning water cooler fodder like The Bachelor. It’s an underappreciated show about not only crossing things off your own bucket list, but also helping others do the same on theirs. In a culture where people push themselves to be the best at everything and focus their efforts, time, and money on themselves, this show is a throwback to the basic teachings everyone is ingrained with in kindergarten: share and help one another.

Compared to the other reality shows sweeping the country (i.e. Jersey Shore, where 20-somethings party, fight, and only care about picking up women for the night), The Buried Life is refreshingly sweet and inspirational. The program showcases four Canadian 20-somethings who, instead of partying and fighting every single episode, have fun figuring out how to play ball with Obama or participating in a comedy sketch with Will Farrell while also helping a little girl overcome her fear of heights or raising money for a computer for an inner city classroom.

Since watching the show I’ve read the guys’ blog and followed their progress around the country. Whether their list items are a little insipid (ask out the girl of your dreams which, in Ben’s case, is Megan Fox) or serious (help deliver a baby), what they give back to others is sometimes astounding. In a recent episode, they helped a young woman they met on the street cross off one of her bucket list items: see her mother’s grave in Colorado (her mother passed away helping victims of Hurricane Katrina). So they raised plane ticket money for her by busing tables at a local restaurant. It was one of the most touching moments of reality television that I have seen in ages.

It’s a refreshing and upstanding show that practices what it preaches—even while seizing the moment and accomplishing goals and dreams that you have set for yourself, you have the ability to change the world, one person at a time.

Watch some of their videos here.

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