I was reading the news online this morning, and noticed an article about an Indiana family who had a daughter that was badly burned, but they refused to take her to the hospital. Two weeks later, they were reported, the daughter admitted (now in critical condition) and the other child taken.
The daughter had been badly burned when her PJ's caught fire from their space heater, their only source of heat. Since they owed $1000 to the gas company, their heat had been turned off. Reading further, it was stated they still had telephone, electricity and CABLE TV!
This is what really gets me. These people would rather pay their cable bill than their heat bill!!
What is wrong with this picture? I know they aren't the only ones with this philosophy. This is partly what's wrong with America. Priorities are all screwed up. Now don't get me wrong, I know I don't make the right decisions all the time either. But the heat bill is a major thing, especially if you have children. In this case, TV was probably being used as escapism, and to keep the kids occupied. TV can be used like a drug. I know, because in a small way, we do it to. Who hasn't?
Who hasn't come home from a long exhausting frustrating day at work, only to zone out in front of the TV? And woe to the one who stands in the way of 'my tv time'! Children are yelled at, the dog is kicked, and the wife ignored. We don't have that problem here, but in the past, I have seen tempers flare if someone interrupts, or makes too much noise.
What saddens me is the TV now has priority over family. It is more important than time spent with the kids or wife or husband or even yard work. We need this drug to help us forget the day's troubles. And a drug it is. Just like the computer can be, or music. If it isn't balanced in your life, if it takes priority over family and friends, or having a real life, then it's a drug. An idol. And we let it happen every day.
I am not working at the moment, so the computer has become my friend. My way to keep in touch, to reach out. Problem is, there isn't much reaching back. And you will find that with the TV, computer, or radio. It's a nice accent to life, but it shouldn't be your life.
As I sit here typing this, my anger slowly dissolves, only to be replaced with guilt. When I see screwed up priorities or wrong reactions, first I am angry, but then I start to apply it to my own life. Am I doing this too? Where am I making this mistake in my own life? Let me see, do I really need HBO when I have credit card bills to pay? Oh boy...
Do I really need high car payments when we're trying to save for a down payment on a house? What about our savings account? Couldn't we grow that more by cutting down to basic cable, or none at all? In this economy, what if we lost our job? Sit and watch cable so we don't think about it, while our lives literally fall apart around us??
How many times is that sadly true? I know people that have kids, can't pay their oil bill in the winter, yet overspend on their kids at Christmas, while the inlaws pay their bill. Or other foolish things, like they pay to have a bear they shot stuffed and mounted, instead of being able to afford things like decent mattresses for their kids.
What is wrong with this world? Why do we buy our kids the latest wii or Playstation, yet they don't have a decent mattress to sleep on? I know of another family who had cable TV, but their little 4 year old didn't have more than one pair of PJ's to sleep in, or enough delicates between wash days.
WAKE UP PEOPLE!! What is wrong with this thinking?! We have such an attitude of 'I deserve' and of what we think is 'normal', that our thinking is all out of whack. It's selfish.
Our parents and grandparents had much better prioritizing skills than we do. We've been given too much, so we think we are owed much. And we want it all NOW. Never mind our parents had to scrimp and save and go without so we could have. And the scrimping didn't mean going without sheets on the bed or enough underwear to last between washings. I never noticed lack at our house, yet we were far from rich. They were just better at prioritizing than we are.
As a side note, I remember when we only got 3 channels on our TV. We didn't have to pay for it back then. We got to watch it for an hour after school (Gilligan's Island!), then we had to go do our homework and go play till supper. After supper, if it was summer, we were never allowed to stay in to watch it. We always escaped outside to play till dark. If it was raining, or winter, we either played in the basement with our toys, up in our room, or, we got to sit with our parents and watch what ever THEY choose to watch that night. And they always choose something family friendly while we were still up. Adult content didn't start till 9 or 10pm in those days. And I say 'Adult' lightly, because now it's laughable what they called 'adult' compared to today. At this point I've given up 'R' rated movies, because I can't take the language and violence anymore. I am becoming appalled at what is allowed in PG-13! But that's for another post...
So ask yourself this: Are my priorities straight? Do my children have a comfortable bed to sleep in, enough bedding to keep warm, enough good food, enough shoes and clothes to wear, and a warm house to live in? I know life is hard, and we all do our best. I'm not judging here. But if you have cable TV, and I pods, and cell phones, but not enough healthy food in the fridge, or the other necessary things, then you need to reexamine what's really important.
Because in the long run, you are teaching your children what's important for the next generation, and the next, and the next...
Following is a story I received through email. I saved it, because there was so much truth in it. I hope you find it as thought provoking as I did.
THE STRANGER WHO CAME TO STAY
A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Texas town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.
As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger...he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with
adventures, mysteries and comedies.
If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.
Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)
Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home... Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished.
He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.
I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... And NEVER asked to leave.
More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
We just call him 'TV.'
He has a wife now....We call her 'Computer.
Note: I guess we could call their children Video Game, IPOD and Wii?
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Posted by ctgardengirl at 9:54 AM