Friday, February 27, 2009

I shouldn't watch CNN, it just frustrates me.

CNN has this thing called iReports, and it is infinitely the silliest thing that the CNN folks have come up with since that crazy wall. For those of you who don't know what an iReport is, it seems to me to be semi-structured (CNN decides on topics) video blogs sent in by people who watch CNN. If people want to do that it's totally within their rights to do so, but whoever it is that chooses what iReport to air should maybe think of what the average person viewing will think of said iReport. The one i saw today made me turn off the TV.

This girl is sitting there, talking about how she lost her job 3 months ago, is receiving unemployment, enumerating all the things she has had to cut out of her life. I start to feel for the girl, it seems right now everyone is feeling a little tightening of the belts due to the present state of our country. There are things in my life that I've cut back on, or cut out completely, so there is empathy for this girl and her situation, until she starts talking about where her unemployment check goes. She eventually got to necessities like a roof over her head and food in her belly, but one of the first things she mentioned was cable. And I'm pretty sure she left out the high speed internet she needed to post her iReport. I'm not picking on this girl, I think she really is having a hard time with life and could use some encouragement, but I think she is an interesting commentary on our cuture.

What do we really NEED? Do I need hundreds of channels on cable in order to survive? No: in fact we just changed our plan and cut out about 150 channels that we didn't need because it didn't make sense to pay for what we had. I grew up with about 4 channels on TV, and didn't have cable until I got married, and I wouldn't miss cable if I went back to that. I didn't even know what MTV was until I was 15 and I was totally unimpressed. People all over the world don't even own a TV! Do I need internet? No: it is a wonderful tool for reconnecting with old friends, and a great way to talk to family in distant places, and an unending source of time-wasting goodness that I would go through withdrawals without, but I don't NEED it for survival. Additionally, if I really needed internet I could go to the public library. I know, "Heaven forbid such travesty!" Do I even need my beautiful house? No: all I need is a roof over my head where I can feel safe, sleep well, and raise my children. Do I need my car? No: even in a city that is pretty spread out, most of the things I do in a week are 10 miles or less from my house. I could walk, ride a bike, or even talk to my neighbors and form a carpool with them to get all of our errands run together to save gas. There are so many things I act like I NEED, that are a total waste of resources.

I am so thankful for all that I have, but I constantly have to remind myself that this world is not my home. I have a beautiful life, but I need to remember it is beautiful because of my Savior, my family, and my friends, not my stuff. What if we can take this economic disaster and remember why we are here, what is important, and plan better for where we are going? What if we get to learn to trust God with things that up until now we thought we had control over? What if we find that we can live with less, and then when we have more we share that with others instead? What if we don't worry so much about the future, and recognize that even the birds have houses, and the lilies have beautiful clothes?

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