I had to include that adverb in parentheses because I’ll never be one of those “I don’t watch TV” people. How can one not watch television? No Super Bowl? Not one episode of Seinfeld or Wheel of Fortune ever? Never fell asleep in front of a movie on your uncle’s plush leather couch after a holiday dinner? If you answered no to all three of those questions, you live in another culture. You have no business being this deep in the English-speaking blogosphere right now.
So I watch a little here and there, and you probably do the same. As a kid, I would definitely rather be spanked than have television privilieges taken away, not that I had a choice. Now, I find myself unconsciously turning it off. Without realizing it, I just stand up and turn it off. Sometimes, the silence that remains is too deafening, and I turn it right back on. Nasty habit.
But I’ve been watching less and less. One major reason is that the “news” is always bad. Murder, rape, kidnapping, war, economic downturn, pollution, and gridlock, 7 days days a week. They make you sit through all that just to get the weather and one feel good story about a pie-eating contest or a cat that was adopted the day before it was scheduled to be put down.
Another reason is that I can’t stand to watch other people getting rich. Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely wish health, wealth, and happiness on everyone and everything in creation. I just wish it for myself, first. I’m actually so inspired by watching a singer sing or an actor act that is makes me want to be a better preacher/salesman/human. When I sit on the couch watching Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in an edited for tv movie, I’m supporting his talent and hard work without doing anything to develop my own. Essentially, I can either sit there and watch him do him or I can turn it off and go do me. It takes a lot of silence and concentration in order for me to do me well.
I have heard it said that that behind every great fortune, there is a crime. Perhaps the “crime” all of our self-actualized tv role models have committed is capturing our hearts to the point of paralysis. The more you watch Oprah, the less chance you have of ever being like her. I catch her show about 4-5 times a year. That’s just enough for me to be like, “this is a very well produced show. Wonder if I’ll ever be worth 10 figures?”
When you become a die hard fan of someone, you run the risk of believing you are “less than” that person. You’re different from, but not less than. They found their calling, pursued it relentlessly, and now they are admired for their creativity and inevitable largesse. You can do the same if you want.
I want, and that’s why I personally (try to) live without watching any television.
And don’t get me started on the radio….