Sing to Your Own Song
by Lisa Kartos
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Our media has kidnapped all of our minds. It is truly scary to think all of the ideas the media has forced into our everyday living. So many ideas are popping into my mind right now...
Take a beautiful city skyline. We have all come to believe that a night's skyline is beautiful, serene. I think of what a city's skyline might truly represent. On one end, perhaps man's hard work; on the other, human greed wrapped up in a removal from a natural-lived life. Has the media convinced the human brain, with the right camera angle and a touch of an emotional swell of music, to be drawn to the superficial, fast-paced, money-centered life of the city? Urban living seems to endorse a higher cost of living, consumerism, edgy businesses, the perfect amorality for us to continue down a road of selfishness and greed. Once you step out into a serene countryside, your eyes open to what little you really require to live happily. Why would the media want us to crave that, for if we did, they would lose all of their customer profit and business. A woman living up in the beautiful Rockies won't need her $4,000 Prada purse to parade around in, the wildlife certainly wouldn't compliment her on it.
How about male/female role representation. The leads in TV sitcoms, more and more, are women, ball-busters, independently saving the world with their fierceness. This subliminally sends the message to women that they don't need men. And to men, that they should fear a woman, and if they want her, they won't be able to contain her or her power. Many times the men are seen as the sidekick, or the assistant to the headstrong woman. This only paints a more accepted view that the woman can and should be the leader, when the Bible presents the exact opposite as the only way a marriage will sustain (with God). Or in the laughable TV sitcoms where the husband is afraid to approach his wife about an issue, or the wife is "the old ball and chain". And, at home, we laugh, unknowingly accepting these stigmas. Magazines portray a suggestive front cover teaching girls and women how to use their sexuality to 'hook' a guy, instead of using her words or character. And men are either ever more effeminite, clinging to a woman, or shallow, even dumb, in movies and sitcoms, made out to be more of an enemy than a companion.
Or body image. The media has replaced all of the images we had in our head of what made an attractive man or woman. It is completely focused on the external matters, as that is where the money-making happens. You can't buy a better personality or a gentler spirit, but you can buy the right bronzer to make you at least appear to have a glowing spirit. As you read this, you have a picture in your head of what a woman, according to the media, should look like. Funny, how the media wants to present women as so hard and tawny, stiff, untamable, intimidating even. And the Bible presents the woman God praises to be soft, gentle, forgiving, respected, and nurturing. How ironic that the media is directly showing the opposite of the woman in the spotlight. And of course this is in the media's best interest, as they reap all the profits for all the ugliness-erasing remedies we buy and swear by. Instead of working on our personality, we spend time and money and effort working on our looks. Just like the media knows we will when they push all of these images at us, and have for decades.
And success. Aah, success according to the media. Its no secret, the media's idea of success equals money. You're not worth anything unless you've got the dollars to back it up. Not hard to figure, if people believe in money leading to success, the need for greed will forever be. And when we have extra money from all of our hard work, think of all the Waterford crystal sets and home add-ons we'll be partaking in. Not to mention a broken-by-void family, leading to more money spent on the dating scene and the outward appearance chapter.
The government. We are fed ideas about our government, we are shown heroics of the police force, prestige of our president, eloquence of matters being 'handled' in the news and internet. But, upon looking deeper, an entire different side is presented. Our government is run by scandals, and CEOs, stockbrokers way at the top, scratching each other's backs. True harm resulted on many different levels to the American people, yet we see the regal and stoic suits of the White House as our protectors.
Media advertising is a whole other ball game. Everything we are fed to believe that we NEED. That is such an immensely powerful word: need. And there are very few actual NEEDs we have as humans. I guarantee the latest Lexus model, the iPad 2, a forty-first pair of shoes, or that "must see" TV show, those are not needs at all. Be ever wary of the word need. Use it only when it counts, like air, food , God, hope. Not much else. Our first brothers and sisters lived with 99% less than we do, and they survived longer than we did. And next time you're out shopping and you think you 'need' something, or even strongly desire it, think of what your fellow human in a third world country sees as a need or a strong desire. Surely, what you're looking at is not nearly as necessary as theirs. How come the media doesn't provoke these kinds of thoughts? Dare I say, it would lessen their own profit?
And funny/sad how ridiculous the media can make us look with the latest fad, allowing us to believe we are so cool if we wear a dress that looks likes a mermaid, or the ugliest matching feathered hat and boa scarf ever seen. But we see it on a legit runway or the latest issue of Vogue, and there goes the bank account. A lot of those looks aren't even pretty or flattering, much of it so extravagant, distracting. If it would be presented to us in a dingy atmosphere with heavy metal music blaring and undone women, I don't think we would all run out and buy the latest trend. Yet we flock to the stores time and time again.
Maybe life, as the media has laid out for us, does work best for somebody when they graduate high school, get married, buy a house, have kids, work, and retire. But maybe that life for someone else would rob the fuel for his very soul.
So, when the media is trying to convince you that a certain movie star is the greatest, or a certain presidential candidate is the dumbest, that 6" stilletto heels are required to turn a man's head, or that there is a followable sequence for a happy life, stop, think, and think twice. Be aware of how things are being presented to you. Recognize that you have a right to think otherwise, or at least research other avenues. Learn how to live your own life, "worthy of the calling you have received" (Ephesians 4:1), but don't give your precious life to the media.
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This is great Lisa. Very enjoyable for me to read. I take your viewpoint, and try to be more individual. Thank you for showing the two sides of life we can choose to experience.