Oh, the days when we had three channels to choose from and everyone watched the same shows. We had to get up off the couch (well, I did, as that was my job) to turn the channel. Sometimes, if the reception wasn’t that great, we would have to run into the kitchen and get some aluminum foil to wrap around the antenna to help bring in a better signal.
Then, cable happened. No more getting off the couch. No more messing with that clunky antenna. More choices of channels and, yes, HBO and MTV. I remember that day when we first got cable television. I was probably thirteen or fourteen years old. The whole world changed. My step-father even splurged and purchased a big screen TV which, at the time, was the size of a medicine cabinet. We were in heaven.
Even though things seemed great, there was something missing. Something that’s only gotten even more prominent since. It was that sense of unity that suddenly felt further away. Of the whole nation being together around something. When major news happened, it was Walter Cronkite and CBS news. As a nation, we all watched together. Times do change and, sometimes, I tend to wonder if its for the better.
Sharing those memories and events together makes us closer. It’s so difficult today to tune into anything, as a nation, we can all agree on. It’s that way in our personal lives too. We tune people out if they disagree with us. Whether it’s politics (that’s a big one), religion (another big one), or whether we should have organic food or not.
It takes effort to listen. To ‘tune into’ peoples feelings and beliefs. One of the best things I could have learned from sales is to ask questions and give answers later. It takes a lot of practice and, sadly, one of the most difficult places to practice it, is at home.
That’s really my thought for today. I don’t want what’s happening in our culture to change my relationships at home with my wife, kids, and friends. I admit, it’s easy to tune off even loved ones, but that doesn’t help anyone.
I’m certainly not saying that I want to go and confront my family if I disagree. What I am saying is that I want to be a better listener. I know that, once we truly hear what each other is saying, we won’t always agree, but we will agree more than we ever thought we would.
So, here’s to ‘tuning into’ our loved one’s lives more often and beginning the long road of being closer through communicating together.
Love always friends!