How do you make sense of a multi-million dollar opera house?

Scanning through my Google Reader feed this afternoon, a particular headline leapt out: Metropolitan Opera Embarks on $60 Million Renovation.
Metropolitan-Opera-House-New-York-mainMaybe that vast sum of money caught my eye because each moment of this holiday season seems to present yet another enticing opportunity to drop some more dough, which is an atmosphere that stirs up some financial anxiety in my gut. Or maybe I was drawn in by the headline’s dollar amount because last night I read a profound excerpt from Mother Teresa’s Heart of Joy: The Transforming Power of Self Giving in which she describes her call to serve the poorest of the poor – those who don’t carry even one single dime. As you read this on your computer or smartphone screen…can you even imagine?

Regardless of why I initially took note, the full headline proceeded to bring my mind and spirit to a complete stop.

On one hand, it read like a pretty typical title — just another group of folks spending a bunch of money investing in a world-renowned venue for high culture. What else is new?

But wait. Something’s wrong here. What about the masses of our brother and sisters around the globe who are without their next meal? What might $60 million do if channeled in another direction? How can we care about perfecting a night at the opera when the literally penniless have dire life-or-death needs?
india-slumFrankly, I think I’d prefer to don a fabulous floor-length gown and head to Lincoln Center rather than think about those things. Active caring can always wait til tomorrow…

How do you make sense of a multi-million dollar opera house?