Thinking Dog
. . .

“I am.”

So goes the story of the time a newspaper sent a letter to the famous author G. K. Chesterton asking “What’s wrong with the world today?” and he responded simply.

Dear Sir,

I am.

G.K. Chesterton.

So I started thinking: “What if everyone was exactly like me (or you)? Am I what’s wrong with the world?”

For starters rush hour traffic would not be between a few hours in the morning, but literally at the moment I started off in the morning. Rush hour, compressed into a moment of grid lock and traffic mayhem. I wonder if I would think everyone in front was too slow, and that everyone passing me was a reckless driver, even when it is me in all the cars? Would everyone let others go first? What if everyone were just like you? Would the world be perfect — better off? I wonder.

When we all returned home from work, what would we chose to do in our free time? What would we surf on the internet or watch on TV? Who is watching what right now? A recent study from the Barna Group found some interesting things about the viewing habits of different religions:

Practicing Christians tend to watch more television than non-Christians. Practicing Catholics watch an average of 3.5 hours per day and practicing Protestants watch an average of 3.1 hours. By contrast, adherents to faiths other than Christianity watch 2.6 hours of TV per day and those of no faith, which includes self-identified atheists and agnostics, watch 2.7 hours. Interestingly, church attendance seems to make little difference in the number of viewing hours. Those who attended church within the past week, those who attended within the past month and those who have not attended at all within the past six months all watch an average of 3.2 hours per day.

It goes on to say that the same shows are popular with Christians and non-Christians alike. This is interesting because television and advertising is focused on providing shows that people will watch. No audience = no revenue — its simple math. They change the shows until they get the viewers back. That’s why they track the ratings, its all about the numbers. The more viewers, the more networks can charge for the advertising because that’s how many more toys advertisers will be selling this weekend. Viewership has a direct cause and effect in the type of shows produced.

So who’s responsible for the state of television today? I think Chesterton may be right.

“I am.”

What if everyone in the world was just like you? Well they are, and that’s why the world and television and everything else is in the state that it is in. And it’s not going to change until you do.

  • What are you going to do to make this world a better place today?
  • What small thing can you do for someone else right now?
  • Are there bad habits you need to change?
  • Are you seeking truth, or just convenient definitions of what’s good and bad?
  • Who is responsible for the state of television today: kids today, culture, or you?