Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Exciting Ourselves into Jaded Cynicism

Dennis Prager does a biopsy on the cancer of our entertainment-focused culture:

“Today’s young people have the ability to experience excitement more than any generation in history. Outside of school, excitement is available almost 24/7. MTV is exciting (MTV has done far more damage to this generation than has the tobacco industry); video games are exciting... The list of exciting things many children experience is as long as there are hours in the day. But all this excitement is actually inhibiting our children’s ability to enjoy life and therefore be happy. All this excitement renders young people jaded, not happy... All this excitement in their lives bodes poorly for the future happiness of millions of American children. Real life, let alone daily life, will seem so boring to them that they will not be able to enjoy it. And more than a few of them will opt for lives of constant excitement, often in ways destructive to themselves and others. The solutions are as simple to offer as they may be difficult to enforce. Limit the amount of excitement in your children’s lives: the amount of video games, the amount of non-serious television, the amount of music whose only aim is to excite. If they are bored, they will have to remedy that boredom by playing with friends, finding a hobby, talking to a family member, walking the dog, doing chores, reading a book or magazine, learning a musical instrument or foreign language, memorizing state capitals, writing a story or just their thoughts, exercising or playing a sport, or just thinking. The younger the age from which children are deprived of superficial excitement, the longer they will remain innocent—i.e., not jaded—and capable of real happiness.”

Of course, this is true for children of all ages. It's not only children who need to step back from this and learn how to be happy. We have a lot of entertainment-fixated adults (and they can vote).

It has to begin with us, men. Let's be disciplined, and self-controlled in our lives, so that we can pray and lead.

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