Redeeming Qualities of Reality TV Shows (David Brown)

I like to make fun of people who watch reality TV, but have found myself watching my own fair share.  So, I appreciated being challenged by this is a post from my good friend Pastor David Brown.

I admit it.  I am a fan of three “reality” tv shows.  As I watch them, I learn things about myself and human nature that I may not have learned otherwise…plus, there are often life-changing moments on those shows that is fun to witness.  I am a fan of life-change.

Lisa and I have been on board with “Survivor” since it’s inception.  It has consistently been one of CBS’s top rated shows.  I wonder if its popularity is partly due to the fact that many of us baby boomers had to read Robinson Crusoe and Lord of the Flies when we were kids.  And how many of us didn’t dream about what it would be like to be stranded on a desert island?  I think it is interesting to watch a wide variety of people work at getting along with each other under extremely stressful conditions while at the same time trying to eliminate the competition by “voting them off”…it seems so much like church…maybe that’s why i like it so much… :)  In some ways it is the classic struggle between good and evil, right and wrong…and how far can a person test their values in a game…for a million bucks…I wonder how well i could play the game?

The “Amazing Race” was the next show to catch my fancy.  I love to travel, and watching people travel around the world while facing a number of obstacles and challenges is fascinating.  Of course, I love maps.  And i remember reading Jules Verne’s classic,  “Around the World in 80 Days” when i was child and liking it.  Again, there are a variety of people from various stations in life who pair up as teams…friends, lovers, workmates, spouses, etc. competing to be the first to finish.  The value of friendship is tested and expressed in many great ways on the show.  It keeps me wanting to tune in…and makes me wonder if my friend, Phil and I, could do it?

The third show we have been watching with some regularity is “The Biggest Loser”.  What started out as another “sensational” kind of show has morphed into a show that truly does change people’s lives.  Hundreds of pounds are lost, esteem is regained (or found for the first time), healthy habits are lifted up, the value of excercise is made obvious.  The shows’ participants are shown as human beings with a huge struggle…and their journey in three short months of moving from obese to healthy and fit.  Almost every week there is a scene that brings a tear to my eye for its compassion and challenge and heart change.  I remember the “fat kids” in school when I was growing up and how my friends and I did not treat them very well and I am determined not to judge others based on how they look…and to look deeper to see what their heart reveals.  And, I had the revelation today that the contestants on Biggest Loser are in better shape than I am even though many still weigh a lot more than I do…so I need to change.

Life change.  It is an amazing thing, and we see it in many places…even tv shows.

The question for us, really, is how are we changing for the better?

How do our personal values hold up when we are struggling to survive at our  workplace…or even in our family?  How are our friendships, both intimate and casual, as travel the journey of life?

Do we realize that life is about the quality of our relationships and not stuff and activity and wealth?

Have we moved on from the childish attitudes and prejudices that we grew up with?

Are we making the world a better place by how we treat others?

 

I want to encourage you today to take these questions seriously.  Think about them.  Answer them.  And then take action to make your life and our world a better place.  We all will be blessed.  After all, we are not talking about a tv show…we are talking about our very real world.

 

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