Have you ever wondered about how your values and beliefs were shaped, why you keep them and why you discard others – maybe without even realizing it? Raising the third of three children, I see more clearly now the pitfalls lying in wait for our kids and unfortunately think media is a growing problem. It’s too easy to blame everything on its pervasive saturation since there’s so much good out too (Discovery & History Channels come to mind), but parenting in competition with the tube is a heckuva challenge when it’s more interesting than me, never tells the child what’s ‘real,’ and comes in so many forms that it mesmerizes them no matter the time of day.
So, you ask, what does this have to do with the subject line? Easy. Remember last week when I talked about kids getting kicked out the door to go find something to do? It turns out those unsought adventures and unstructured playtime were our own reality, an active one we somehow shaped. It brought on new ideas, gave us crazy ideas and at least for me usually was interesting. Even if I didn’t know it at the time.
By ‘bootlegging,’ I mean being a passive player in the game of life and letting others drive your emotions and feelings. You mimic them. You grow up fully entertained and don’t understand that intrinsic value of being your own emoticon. TV lulls even a smart (but over-worked) adult into parking the tougher-to-handle feelings so that we can ‘unwind and relax,’ oblivious to the need to deal with those emotions in a timely way. You then act off of other stimuli, ones contrived -- for a profit motive - to make you feel happy or sad. Or things like a football game – if they win, you’re supposed to walk away all pumped up and proud. But, I ask you, is that real? Or is it bootlegging someone else’s Feelings Package for yourself?