This week’s Sunday Spotlight shines on Matthew McConaughey. We know McConaughey for his long acting career, including an Academy Award for Best Actor in the movie Dallas Buyers Club. He has been the mesmerizing voice in ads for Lincoln Motors. He has a voice with the tone, tenor, and canter that makes you want to listen to the message it delivers.
McConaughey has earned millions for his work but has shared it with young men and women to make a difference. McConaughey started the Just Keep Livin Foundation, which is “dedicated to helping teenage kids lead active lives and make healthy choices to become great men and women
McConaughey has done numerous motivational videos, which can be seen on YouTube. I confess that I have watched them multiple times as the message is inspiring, but his voice is almost spiritual. He was given a gift and has put it to good use. He was considering a run for Governor of Texas, which would have been his first attempt at public office, but he changed his mind. Who can blame him with the current political climate?
This past week, he stepped to the podium of the White House Briefing Room and gave a passionate speech to the nation about the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that claimed 21 lives and broke the heart of the nation. This shooting hit close to home for McConaughey as Uvalde is his birthplace, and he knows it and its people well.
I heard many comments from both sides of the spectrum about him, this speech, and his motivation for stepping up to speak out. That is never fair, for you can never assess what lives in someone’s mind or heart unless they express it to you. My only concern is that he chose to speak from the White House, which automatically politicizes the event, which is unfortunate in this case.
He gave some of the usual talking points about gun control and mental health but delivered his message in a manner that gave the subject a more common sense, non-partisan twist. It made sense and seemed like an approach that could bridge our divide.
I heard him later comment about the Uvalde shooting and the mass shooting horror that hits this country far too often. He agreed that it is difficult for people to agree on a solution that addresses the problem while preserving rights. But he also talked about the need to solve this problem as people.
He said, and it is so true, that there is no way two fathers can not come to a solution. We have to make this horrible dilemma personal. We watch terrible videos of mourning parents raw with the loss of their children. We need to put ourselves into that picture. When we can, we will forget partisan politics and think of solutions.
Matthew McConaughey has a way of transporting you out of your comfort zone. Whether in a motivational sense getting you to see yourself as better than you imagine, or in tragedy. He took a big chance, but he is big enough to survive criticism and strong enough not to care. You cannot cancel someone like McConaughey, which is why he is the perfect person to bridge the divide and stimulate reason.