It will be the weekend here soon in England and many of the population will be watching Saturday night entertainment. This often comes in the form of what is called reality TV, where judges are adjudicating someone’s ability to dance/sing/cook etc. in front of an enthusiastic audience.
These kinds of shows have become very popular; in fact, the viewing numbers reach millions each week as people switch on to watch the programs and where, usually, drama unfolds.
But what exactly are these types of programs telling us?
- You have to be good at something, or really bad, to be noticed?
- That it is ok to judge people?
- That it is ok to mock people?
- It is ok to focus on people’s talents and abilities to define them and their worth as a person?
- To gain another’s sympathy creates a bigger ground swell?
- To build someone up, inflate them, and sell them over another is ok?
- That comparison and competition is normal to feel?
- That to be ‘someone’ we need to be good at something that others deem worthy enough?
- That we are loved for what we do rather than for who we are?
- To be anything or get anywhere we must have another’s approval before we can move on?
- That it is normal to give our power away to someone or something that can judge you to be good or bad?
- That if you are one of the ‘lucky ‘ ones to ‘succeed in winning the competition’, you and your story belong to the public and/or media, which then leaves you (as we have seen so many times before) wide open and vulnerable to the media’s own agenda?
- That our fate is decided by how others see us?
Society is suffering and to me all of the above messages add to the dis-harmony and dis-ease in our world.
We have become a culture indulging in others’ emotions and we are addicted to it; we love the hype, the sympathy and the drama. Emotions run high in these types of shows as they aim to stimulate, excite and hook us in. Is it not time to wake up and take responsibility and understand the impact of these emotions and what they have on our health, mental wellbeing and attitude towards others? Is it not irresponsible to give so much time and energy into watching these types of shows yet pay little attention to our own health and wellbeing, and the real state of the world?
“The world has always fallen for talent. Talent does not bring love, for it is the lack of love that makes us focus on our abilities rather than who we truly are.”
By valuing our own self-worth and appreciating others for who they truly are and not for what they do or how they perform, we begin to see there is another way: a way of living that does not need external stimulation to keep one entertained, a way of living where there is no perfectionism, just a willingness and intention to be open and equally loving to all.
When we come from a place of truth it is easy to see how false and degrading competition is and how insidiously harmful judgment and comparison are to us as individuals and as a society.
Let us bring back true respect and let us get back to the simplicity of life.
By Samantha England, Health and Social Care Assessor, Norfolk UK