16. Emotion

For Christmas I bought my son a carving knife and some wood blocks.  I thought that he might like to try his hand at this interesting form of art. He’s always been a good little sketch artist, but he’s never really taken art very seriously. I just thought that carving might be the thing to spark his interest and his talent.


Artistic creation demands a great deal of patience and practice. And it’s in the quiet of patience that one also enjoys many of the other unheralded things in life: a spring rain, for example — the full moon, or a great story. I think, in fact, that the human demands of any artistic endeavor will naturally lead to the further enjoyment of life.


Unfortunately, in today’s television culture people’s senses have been numbed; it threatens to rob us of an appreciation for the fine and simple things. Guided by only the harsh light of TV, many people, I fear, are limiting themselves to the aggressive emotions of anger, arousal, and shock.


Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not an opponent of television. In fact, I consider myself to be very much the product of the television age. But today’s programming is out of control. And much of what is aired intends only to shock or amaze the viewer.


Where are the old television comedians like Lucille Ball, Carol Burnette, or Flip Wilson? Are they just footnotes in the annals of television history?


Viewers today are bombarded with reality television that shows the “unreality” of life. To me it seems like a world turned upside down — a world that makes us less, not more, aware of the good life.


It’s unfortunate really, that the simple art of carving a wood block pales in comparison to the flash an glitter of today’s High Definition TV culture. But it’s worth the effort to resist the trend and try to point young minds towards the things that build refinement and patience.


Days 16-19 Guide


Turn off the television for a week or two.


© 2006, Levi Hill

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