I have a confession to make – my name is Larry and I am a TV news show junkie. Not baseball, not sit-coms, not movies from 1948, no, I sit for several hours watching the latest developments from national leaders unfold on my screen. You might say, “Well Larry, that’s a good thing. It is good to stay on top of current events.”
No, no, no this is not a good thing. How do I know? I know that when I have viewed a great movie classic or an exciting baseball game, when I have guffawed uncontrollably over the antics of a sit-com cast, I feel good. However, when I have spent 4 hours watching this political figure or that wannabe leader spout a stream of accusations and innuendo, defame people who are my heroes, immaturely slander others who aspire to make a difference in our society…when bedtime rolls around, I am angry, disturbed, depressed and vindictive. My internal dictionary tells me that these are negatives. That is not a good thing. I try not to entertain negatives in my life.
Denying that I have a problem does not help. Believing that I can practice controlled viewing does not work. When 7 PM rolls around I am magnetically drawn to the remote control, I am savoring the first few minutes of updates. Ten minutes is too much and four hours is not enough. My mind is putty in the hands of those celebrity pundits appearing on my screen. Hold me, caress me, teach me the things I need to know about society and politics. Yes, yes, yes, form my opinions, make me intelligent and witty, give me the words to argue with any of my neighbors. Here I am. Take me now and we will dwell forever in digital ecstasy.
Pretty damn sad, isn’t it? So, as you may have noticed, the title of this post is “IT’S A GREAT DAY! – weakness.” When I was a young boy working with my grandfather on his farm, the farm hands who assisted in the summer months were young, mature, worldly men who had been around the block a few times. They knew the pleasures and the secrets of life. Full of advice for a boy growing up totally naïve, they always joked with me about girls and the mysteries of puberty and adolescence. But invariably, with dead seriousness, they would then end the conversation with, “Life is great if ya don’t weaken.”
“Hmmm,” I wondered to myself, “what on earth are they talking about?”
Trial and error answered my question. Many trials and many errors in dealing with sex, in finding my place in society, in succumbing to numerous addictions. If anyone learned about life the hard way, it was me. ‘Life is great if ya don’t weaken’ took on painful profundity as I battled the demons which were in control of Larry, the young man.
When I share my concern with the news programs addiction, we know it is somewhat in jest. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say this evening pastime of national events is incongruous with the mindset I want for myself and that I need to corral that remote control by setting limits upon what networks it can access. Yeah, that sounds like a winning course of action. Honestly, an intelligent, reasonable, well-grounded man cannot possibly be ‘addicted’ to TV……can he?
I have a great start to this day. Upon awakening I hugged the sleeping cat aside me, I brewed my first cup of coffee, I dwelled upon the dawning day, and then set a course for honoring the master of my life. Meditation, yoga and a light workout got my lungs breathing and heart pumping. I have a few chores for this afternoon and a list of options for this evening….baseball, a book to read, maybe a classic movie. Please wish me luck as I battle my latest affliction and try not to weaken by 7PM. It’s a great day at my house and in my mind! How about you?