When was the last time you were inspired to be better?
In reading the first chapter of Building Better Families by Matthew Kelly the single statement that jumped out at me was this,
“Music, movies, television, magazines, theater, a visit to the mall, concerts… It has become increasingly rare that we emerge from any of these inspired to become a better-version-of-ourselves.”
This statement got me started thinking about my life – where I go, what I do, who I spend time with and I realized that he is right. There is very little in my daily life that I find inspiring.
I am going to show my age here a little bit with this next statement, but I remember when I was a child and we would watch television on Sunday nights – the NBC Sunday night movie – it was usually a family movie of some kind and frequently I would go to bed thinking, “I want to be like him (or her)” whoever the main character of the movie was.
Now I love movies, and I will freely admit that I love movies that involve gunfire and explosions so I am probably at a disadvantage with my movie choices to begin with, but I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie that inspired me to want to be a better person.
That doesn’t mean I am going to stop renting movies, but it does mean that I have started to pay more attention to the media I expose myself to.
When I look for new things to watch on Netflix and YouTube I am actually trying to choose things that do not contradict my beliefs.
Ask yourself this – when was the last time you saw any show where only married people had sex? It seems like such a small thing, but in today’s society it has become expected that adults are allowed to jump into bed with whoever they want, whenever they want.
I wasn’t raised that way and I am not raising my children that way, yet they are surrounded by a society that is telling them the exact opposite of what I am telling them.
In some ways it is almost funny. I was a parent who didn’t allow my children to watch television until they were 2 and no commercial television until the oldest was about 8 (thank God for cable channels that don’t have commercials.) We were always very strict about the amount of media our children were allowed to view, until the last year or so.
Then we got lazy.
There really isn’t any excuse, but life just got in the way and it was easier to let them be on the computer or Ipad for hours a day. We still don’t allow media in the morning before school, but during the summer they get to spend as much time as they want online- I am waiting for their brains to bleed out of their ears, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Both my husband I and know this is a problem and we keep trying to find ways to pull the family back together – but we haven’t had much success yet. We will keep trying.
Happily there are bright spots of inspiration in my life.
I listen to Relevant Radio every morning on my drive in to work and often find it inspiring. Relevant Radio is Catholic Talk Radio and I highly recommend it to anyone – Catholic or not – as they share practical tips on real life issues. I find the speakers and guests seem to be able to put life in a new perspective. The morning show especially seems to really focus on helping us improve our lives. (Thanks John and Glen.)
When I am doing housework or other chores I try to listen to inspiring speeches on You Tube – there are a lot of them out there. I highly recommend Jean Robertson as she is very funny and Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries as he makes me laugh and cry.
Reading this first chapter in Building Better Families has made me more aware of the media I consume. It makes me a little uncomfortable with some of the choices I make, but that is part of becoming a better person. If I truly want to become the best version of myself then I will need to continue to search for other things that inspire me.
I will keep you posted on how it goes.
Other Posts in this series
Start Here – Begin at the begining
Introduction – I don’t always read introductions to books, but I am glad I read this one.