This I Believe

Rachel - Norman, Oklahoma
Entered on January 31, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I Believe in Putting Down the Remote

I believe in the strange and alluring power of television. This ubiquitous monster has the disturbing ability to gobble up my entire day without remorse. There was a time when I spent my days parked on a couch spellbound by its magic. I avoided experiencing my own day by studying the lives of others.

I would spend the afternoon watching high school teenagers from beach cities in California complain about bad hair days and messy breakups. Car commercials whizzed by in a flash of bright colors and curvy roads. I daily looked on with disgust at the scandalous plots and morally deprived residents of Landview. Unappetizing sights of enormous hamburgers were shoved in my face. I listened in on thirty minute counseling sessions hoping to be helped in some way. I played judge and juror to meaningless civil suites while people enjoyed their fifteen minutes of fame. Finally, after one such wasted day, the guilt of letting life pass me by, frozen in the trance of an electrical picture box, became too much to take. My mind and body had sat dormant for too long. I set down the remote, stood up, and decided to start truly living.

I would no longer let my life pass by in a blur of sitcoms and commercials. I got rid of the day stealing beast and began embracing every day. Life became more meaningful. It was the beginning of my quest to fill my life with the things I love and live each day to the fullest.

The reactions of others were truly surprising.

Friends would ask, “Why would you get rid of your TV?”

Coworkers inquired with puzzled faces, “If you don’t have a TV, what do you do?”

I’ll tell you what I do. Instead of zoning out and letting the world pass me by, I live. Present in the moment as much as possible. I spend my days learning. I go for walks without destinations. I take naps in the afternoon. I enjoy the company of my friends. I write. Do yoga. Listen to NPR. I curl up with a crossword and a cup of coffee on Sunday. I bake. Listen to music. Talk on the phone for hours to my family. I am at peace alone with my own thoughts. Instead of being a spectator, I am performing in the center ring of my life. I believe in living. I believe in life after television.