The Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel and the statue of David are examples of art that has been in place for centuries. Society has these staples of history that appear to exist outside the laws of time.
However, centuries of history were erased in the Notre Dame Cathedral when a fire erupted from within on April 15.
While the structure and majority of the cathedral are still intact, there is a significant portion of the inside that has been lost in the flames.
In the wake of the recent fire, efforts to rebuild the cathedral have been declared with a timeline of 40 years at the most in order to rebuild the cathedral in its entirety.
Aside from the amount of time to be invested, the reconstruction will cost a large amount of money.
In order to help alleviate the cost, many companies and individuals are pledging millions of dollars to the cause.
These huge donations, while charitable and for a good cause, have many questioning why these donations are flooding in for the reconstruction of ancient art and why these efforts don’t reach the same heights for cancer research or support programs for third world countries.
The people who are complaining about these companies not donating to other causes are yelling at the clouds.
These companies, such as Disney and Apple, donate to good causes and charities, however they are never in the spotlight for doing so.
Apple employees have donated more than $365 million through Apple’s Giving Program since its conception eight years ago.
Disney donated a total of $338 million to nonprofit organizations in 2018.
Just because there is not 24-hour news coverage on these philanthropic ventures doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.
There are charities that would benefit greatly from the amount of money being donated to the Notre Dame Cathedral. Efforts to provide an education system for developing countries, ensure more of the world has access to clean drinking water or donating to cancer research should all be funded.
However, there is never just one cause that needs help.
The cathedral provides not only structural beauty but stands for more than physical importance for some communities, both religious and secular.
Looking deeper at the charitable donations made to the cathedral, it may appear as a public relations move so the donors can look like saviors.
The charitable portion of the donation gets muddy when looked at from the lens of public scrutiny via international media attention. Any donation made in a large amount will be public facing news and skews the perception of that donation.
The online community has taken to tearing apart these corporations over these donations due to this perception. Instead of highlighting the people who donate to those charitable causes, the decision to tear donors apart is disappointing and frustrating.
The backlash over the reconstruction donations have helped to put a spotlight on the donors, not only as gratitude for their generosity but also as a way to increase efforts for other charities and causes.
People should hold others to a higher standard and always be asking “If we can do good for x, then why can’t we do the same for y?”
Calling attention to these efforts is a good thing, but criticizing donors over one large donation and assuming that is all they do is not the answer.