The Thief in the Living Room

I like television. My wife and I love to watch programs on history, science, and yes, sometimes I watch COPS. Is that a waste of time?

Whether it’s COPS or a more elevating documentary, I have chosen to do something that will probably not improve my material, mental, or spiritual well-being substantially. Well, maybe science or history shows. At least they make me intellectually richer.

Everyone needs a break now and then, and I am certainly not begrudging anyone his/her rest time. Yet I have observed a multitude of people whose time in front of the TV is astounding. Hour after hour, they soak up images and sounds that one can only describe as chaotic and mindless.

It is not the time in front of the TV that is the culprit so much, but the things we are not doing while we watch. These same people seem to be the ones who complain about their income and lack of time. When I suggest they spend a few hours a week building a business, I invariably hear, “I don’t have time!”

Oh, really? If you want to build a business but don’t think you have time, just add up the number of hours you watch TV. And be honest. Write it down for one week. That’s right–every second, including those times you watch while eating, talking with the kids, or doing a crossword puzzle.

My guess is that you will find out just how much of a thief you have in the living room. Now, what are you going to do? For heaven’s sake, don’t swear off TV. You know perfectly well you won’t quit completely. I am not even sure that is a good idea. Just pick a few hours when you watch something less than uplifting. Maybe it’s COPS, maybe it’s sports, or maybe it’s American Idol. Decide whether your life is better spending time with them or time building your future.


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