Simon Cowell’s response to Haiti’s January Earthquake crisis was very similar to Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie‘s We Are The World 25 For Haiti musical performance. With a conglomeration of hit musical sensations, Cowell released the song “Everybody Hurts” in order to raise money and awareness for Haiti in this time of need.

We Are The World 25 had many more contributing artists than Cowell’s song, so what made him think his musical contribution would stand out?

The biggest difference was that graphic images were included in “Everybody Hurts.” Cowell’s call to action included video footage of the struggles that the Haitian people are undergoing. Men, Women, Children, Elderly…everyone was captured in their weakest moment, begging for help – some with their eyes and others with their pleas. The music video goes as far as showing a woman trapped under tons of rubble. Rescuers carve out enough stone to see her face.

Celebrities take a back seat to the clips of Haiti in this performance. Some musicians are shown in tiny clips scattered throughout the piece, and others are just a voice in the background.

This video certainly pulled at my heart-strings. I cried the first time I watched it – I ached to hold those children and tell them that things would be alright, but I couldn’t because things are not alright. The earthquake was just the first blow. Now, Haiti is trapped within the cholera outbreak. These poor people cannot catch a break.

I admire Cowell’s creativity and charity in helping Haiti through the aftermath of the January earthquake. I am curious, however, as to the effectiveness of his music video. I wonder who raised more money for the cause: Jones and Richie with their abundance of celebrities or Cowell with his graphic clips of Haitian suffering? I know that it really isn’t that important who raised the most money as long as everyone does their part to help these people, but I am interested to see what truly inspires people to help. Do we help because famous people tell us to and we want to be cool just like them? Or do we help because we are human beings and we don’t want to see others suffer when there is something we can do about it?


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