I watch way too much TV in my life. If I am not working or out with friends, I can be found in front of my 50-inch flat-screen, surrounded by speakers from my home theater system. Between Netflix, DIRECTV, Hulu, and VUDU there is always something for me to watch. I have always been a fan of movies and epic drama TV series’, but the problem is that more and more TV has become my addiction. I don’t even like what is on anymore. Quality and originality have gone out the door (with a few exceptions of course…can you say “Burn Notice?”) and still I sit, captivated by bright colors and surround sound, hoping that something better will be on next…or after that.
This article is not really about the woes of watching TV. Primetime is simply a conduit for a much bigger problem that many of us face and meet in our own ways. Today, we have disengaged. Many of us are discouraged by the economy of the last years, fearful of our political future, and worried about what woes tomorrow may bring. Many of us have surrendered our willpower to fate. Where once we thought hard work, ethical behavior, and strong moral values would propel us forward, we are now stuck with “forward” merely being a campaign slogan while we all sit motionless, living out our lives vicariously through reality TV or our more adventurous Facebook friends.
Life is not meant to be lived switching between work mode and zone-out mode, yet so many of us live out our days with no more aspiration than to make it home to our couches. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think this comes from laziness. It is deeper than that. If you’re like me, all you want to do is hide away from what the world has become. The couch becomes our secret safe zone, where nothing can hurt us, scare us, or stress us out.
Recently, I have begun to realize the foolishness of my hiding. Inside, snuggled close to Fox News, CNN, and the Kardashians, the world is a scary place. But outside, the sky is still blue, the grass is still green (except for the brown spots where my sprinklers seems to magically jump over), the sun is still shining, and the moon still comes out every night to play with the stars. In many ways, I believe that we have let the media and our Facebook friends convince us to surrender. The battle is not over; the world is not scorched with death and decay. We have disengaged and forfeited the game on account of rain, but it is a beautiful day outside of our own doom and gloom. The thunder clouds are rolling around in our heads while the birds chirp, the squirrels gather, the bees buzz, and life marches on outside. It is time that we stop hiding and Re-Engage life.
The real issue is that we have forgotten what life is all about. We have forgotten that the simple things (a walk in the park, a good laugh with close friends, a hug from a child) are the things that build real value in life. We can’t start replenishing our savings accounts and 401k’s until we open our eyes to the life all around us. No matter what happens on Jersey Shore, what scare tactics the media commentaries are spewing, or what political cartoon races through Facebook, tomorrow will be another day. It is time that we rebuild our own economy, the economy of a fulfilled life. Step outside, meet your neighbors, remember your friends, enjoy the wealth of nature. Rejuvenate your soul, refresh your mind, and strengthen your body. Then, go out and rebuild your business, conquer your sales meeting, inspire your staff and show the world that we are out of hiding, that we are back in the game and ready to win. Pawn Stars can be DVRed and Facebook posts can be replied to later. Today, we have a real life to live.