I have not had a TV for quite some time. Now that I'm staying at my daughter's in Chicago, there is TV.
Of course, I love a good movie, and there are some really wonderful shows. However, if there's a TV around, I tend to say to myself: "Well, I'll just take a break for a little while. I'll just relax in front of the TV." Then a little while becomes an hour and just a few more minutes becomes another hour.
But here's what I think what is the main reason why it's better that I personally don't watch TV. Watching TV gives me too many opportunities to become judgmental. I don't want to be judgmental, yet TV really brings it out of me.
I will give you an example:
There is a program that shows little pre-school girls in Beauty Pageants. It is their mothers' ambition, of course, that their little girls win the pageants. Little three and four year olds learn how to walk like a beauty queen. They know how to smile like a beauty queen. They know how to pose like a beauty queen. Sometimes the tots are tired and don't want to parade, and, yet, brave little things, they stop crying and rise to the occasion. When they do not win -- and not everyone can win -- some of them cry a lot, for they have failed. When they win, well, wow, they are great, and everyone loves them.
I have no objection to spelling bees or game shows etc. But to this whole child beauty queen thing, I object to.
It really hit home to me about my judgments. When the formal pageant is over, the cameras follow the little girls. In one case, there was a little girl probably in second grade who said to her friend with absolute certainty: "The most important thing in the world is to look beautiful."
Just as positive as the little girl was, so am I. I have the same absolute certainty that what she values is a false value, that what she values is shallow, that there is far more to life in the world than physical beauty. I suppose that somewhere along the line, life will teach this little girl. She will learn that outer beauty cannot be relied on, not forever anyway, and that outer appearance is only outer appearance, and that there is far more to her than how she looks.
My mother, whose life was so hard and so far away from beauty pageants, would have liked one of her daughters to become Miss America. She thought that being Miss America was, indeed, a crowning achievement.
I remember when I was three or four, my mother dropped me off at a beauty parlor to have a permanent wave. (Remember my mother had to work.) When the beautician rolled my hair in the curlers, she would pull so tight that it really really hurt. When I complained, the lady said: "You have to suffer to be beautiful."
Well, how does one get out of judgment once and for all? I wonder, is judgment something like gossip?
Recently, on the Heavenletter Spiritual Community Forum, Nirmala quoted the following from Heavenletter #437, What Is Greatness? This Heavenletter was written on January 1, 2002. I end today''s blog with this.
Each drop of world life is yourself thrown to the winds. Each inanity in life is yourself tossed and yourself caught, and yet yourself is more than the apparent toss. Do not look so much for meaning in the world. Look for meaning in you, for it is you who is meant to surpass the world.