Understanding and compassion help explain why I haven’t owned a television in nine years.
I usually read non-fiction, and let me tell you why. It:
- Fuels awareness and a deeper understanding of the world around us.
- Replaces destructive religious, sexual, political, and environmental superstitions with informed reason.
- Enables more effective compassion. http://goo.gl/otD45C
Reading enables, empowers, illuminates, enlightens, informs, inspires, enhances, and improves your character. Along with the world around you.
Many can relate to a comment by former Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, Newton N. Minow (1926-present). Here is how he described TV:
“I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.”
That was from his speech to the National Association of Broadcasters.
Television is great for occasional entertainment. And the likes of environmental, home, kitchen, and garden shows can inform and inspire.
But over-consumption of comedy, drama, sports, supernatural, event-not-idea-focused news, reality shows, or video games is a mark of apathy, ignorance, and selfishness.
An entertainment-heavy diet has severe consequences for humanity, because it displaces active compassion and informed reason.
As an interesting aside, Hollywood producer Sherwood Schwartz (1916-2011) posited that as head of the F.C.C., Minow “ruined television”. Rather doubtful.
Nonetheless, Sherwood sarcastically named the shipwrecked boat on his hit TV show Gilligan’s Island the S.S. Minnow.
Also interesting: in 1988, Mister Minow recruited a young summer associate for his Chicago law firm. Barack Obama. And this is where Mister Obama met a woman designated as his career mentor: Michelle Robinson. She is now First Lady of The United States of America.
Mister Minow not only actively supported the presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy, but also that of Barack H. Obama.
Vision, or television? You decide.