Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Life Worth Watching

It saddens me to see advertisements for so-called reality television shows. In thirty second commercials we're promised some verbal assault or even worse, a physical altercation. It’s upsetting not only because someone decided that we would be intrigued by belligerence, but mostly because ratings prove that it’s true. When shows promise us a confrontation, we tune in excitedly and in record numbers. I’m not here to launch a campaign against reality television, but I do hope that we aren’t teaching the children in our lives that being rude is worthy of imitation. I hope that we are not promoting a lifestyle of selfishness and a lack of control under the guise of “keeping it real” because in reality all this behavior is doing is keeping it real ridiculous.

History dictated that certain groups of people (women and minorities) were forced to demand respect and give themselves a voice, but along the way, society has shifted entirely too far. Now, American culture celebrates anyone who stands up to everybody and acts as if that's strength. While I’m not advocating that anyone become a doormat, we need to establish what real strength is. It takes more strength to engage in an intelligent conversation than it does to spew out insults and expletives. It takes more strength to walk away than to be taken away. It takes more strength to be kind than it does to be careless.

As you go through your daily routine I challenge you to consider how you engage with others. Do you allow people to easily push you from your center? Do you exercise the same amount of patience that you expect others to give to you? Have you ever considered that the person you were all too happy to give a piece of your mind just lost a loved one or was recently given a life-altering diagnosis? Next time someone does or says something that threatens your inner-reality TV star to come blazing, consider whether you are living a life really worth watching.

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