by  in Coaching, Confidence, Contributions, Leadership, Motivation & Success 3 Comments

The Secret Millionaire…Are You?

I watch very little television these days. After all, why would I? There’s so little time and way too much bad news being televised.  Who needs it!

Every now and than however a show comes along that sparks my curiosity.

A new “reality” program called, ‘The Secret Millionaire’ on FOX network did just that. The show features different “self absorbed” multi-millionaires who go completely undercover as an almost destitute person living at the poverty level. The undercover millionaire is sent to a some remote poverty stricken area of the US to live for a full week with only a few welfare level dollars in his or her pocket. They have to find a job if they are going to make it.

Their main objective is to find some poor unfortunate individual or organization worthy of help, then wright them a check for some fairly big bucks. The total give away is in the area of $100,000.00 or more of their own money. Although the show itself is tainted with an obvious philanthropy-for-profit undertone (which I have no real problem with) the end result was quite inspiring.

I found myself having to wipe more than a few tears away from my eyes as I watched the faces of the people who were so desperately in need receive a check for a substantial amount of money.

This wasn’t a handout to people who have found themselves in dire straits as a result of alcoholic or drug abuse, but rather a helping hand for people who have chosen inspite of their own circumstances to stay in their communities and give back, contribute, and help others purely out of the goodness of their own heart.

When the show ended I was left with several questions and impressions not the least of which was how important money really is in helping others less fortunate.

As good old Abe Lincoln once said,“The best way to help the poor is by not being one.”What a gift it would be to be able to go out into the community and give back at that level.

Then I asked myself how I can do more to help others with the time and gifts I already have at my disposal? As a leader you need to ask yourself that same question.

Not only that but how can we do more to inspire others to do more as well. I’m looking for your suggestions and solutions let me know your thoughts about the show and about giving back.

Tom TerwilligerThe Secret Millionaire…Are You?


  1. racerx009   Reply

    Tom I didn’t see that show but my wife did and was quite impressed. If I have one reservation about the message it may impart it’s that relying on the benevolence of the wealthy is perhaps not the best way to proceed forward as a society. In some ways it may in fact be a step back to feudalism in which people relied upon the kindness of the gentry for their very survival. I believe the most efficient and democratic method of addressing the needs of a mass population is through the collective action of a government whose first responsibility is to its people in general as opposed to the society’s elite… as is evidenced by the bailout of the reckless Wall Street speculators who have destroyed our economy…

    Don’t get me wrong, the impulse of those you witnessed on the show is wonderful and should certainly be encouraged but I think we have to ask ourselves what responsibility do we have as citizens to create and nurture a society that better serves its less fortunate and, more to the point, provides greater opportunities for personal growth so that there are fewer of them.

    Now for another matter entirely. I posted a question to you over at the Muscular Development forum (in No Bull) in regards to the 1987 Night of Champions and I’ve got a bet riding on your answer so if you could head over there and hit me back with an answer I’d greatly appreciate it.

    Ps: I post over at MD as Racerx009 as well.

    Bill J.

  2. Tom Terwilliger   Reply


    Thanks for you very insightful and thought provoking reply. Although I would agree that that as a society we certainly do not want the fate of the less fortunate to depend on the philanthropic generosity of the wealthy. I do believe however that the wealthy have no specific obligation to help the poor other than from the direction of their own more compass. I also believe based on what I have experienced and witnessed that wealth can allow for a higher state of consciousness (re; Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs) and the ability to give to those who are truly in need. We as a country have created a welfare state of perceived entitlement that has diminished the desire to grow and the ability to see the abundant personal growth opportunities already available to anyone and everyone who is willing to reach out and work for it.

    Trusting the same government that is shelling out billions to bailout the very same people who plaid a massive role in our current economic situation is not a government I would trust to take care of the less fortunate without itself being taking advantage of and creating a nation of government dependent victims.

    On the other note, I’m heading over to MD to see if I can help you win a bet… talk soon.

  3. racerx009   Reply

    Thanks a bunch for the response Tom… and I’ll keep my fingers crossed on that bet.

    Bill J.