21. Sympathy

Though I’m not a TV buff, I have watched segments of the show Survivor. It’s interesting to see such a strange mix of people thrown together and having to cooperate as a team in order to complete a given mission. But that’s not really what attracts viewers like you and me, is it?

We tune in to see who’s going to get voted off the team and who’s going to survive. I think we enjoy witnessing the emotions that bind some team members and separate others. It is the show’s perpetual undercurrent of dissention and backstabbing that I think attracts the viewers.

Here’s what one survivor, Jerri Manthey, said in the final few days of her survival tour in the Australian Outback:

I’m finally in a position of power again, and I like it. I am ready to go and vote. The two people that are left are two people that backstabbed me several times. I want them forced to look at what they have become while playing this game to what they are like in the real world.

The survivalist traits of man aren’t pretty, are they? They do little to help us fulfill our ultimate desire to enjoy life and other people. Fortunately, most of us aren’t in a survival mode, and we do have the necessary time and space to enjoy our families and friends, our local communities and even our country.

Day 21 Guide:

Think today of really enjoying your friends, your co-workers and your family. Sure, there are things you’d like to change in people, but try earnestly to avoid the strife and dissention that tends to divide and separate. Make the effort instead to understand differing points of view, and try to develop a sense of how others understand the world to be.

Suspend harsh judgment and consider differing points of view to be merely interesting, not right or wrong.

© 2004, Levi Hill

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