Saturday, February 24, 2018

Beyond Netflix: Remembering to Live Our Own Stories

Some weeks I watch too much Netflix. It's so easy to slip into an episode of some show and binge watch my way to not caring. Lately, I've been thinking about this kind of distraction and whether I can afford it quite so often in my life.

Sometimes, it seems like the fate of the entire country is up in the air. While I inhale television, living someone else's story, people are suffering. Guns are proliferating. Racial inequity is infusing institutions and hunkering down. Sexism and harassment is toppling a woman's life. Children are dying of hunger, being sold as slaves or working in sweat shops. The world spins on its access while I sit in warmth, a bowl of ice cream in front me, shoveling stories into my mind. It's sobering.

I love living a story-- through a television show, a movie, a book, but I can't help but wonder if the never-ending, addictive quality of Netflix episodes are making me less active, muting my energy to use my voice to bring about meaningful change in the world. I could be writing my own story instead of watching, obviously. I could also be writing to Congress, showing up to protest more, organizing with others to change or simply learning more about issues through meaningful questions and fact-based research.

The responsibility to balance the stories I live in my own life with the ones I consume through media is something I want to be more mindful about in the future. And I want the stories I write to have some meaningful connection to the conversations going on in the world, as well as being fun and entertaining.

Balancing my time between consuming stories, writing them and living them out by making a difference in the world is something I'm thinking about a lot these days. This picture reminds me to get out there and make something happen. 

A super hero unicorn is a great symbol for getting out there and making something happen!