Sunday, December 3, 2017

Just Watching

Before I say much about this, can we agree that it's possible to do too much of something even though that "something" isn't wrong itself? Like drinking a soda. I don't think anyone would say it's really wrong to have one now and then. Is it possible to have too much? Sure.

With that out of the way, I have been pondering something lately that, at first glance, will seem like no big deal. If I act like it's a big deal, some people might be offended. I'll proceed anyway.

Why do we stop doing things in life and instead start being content with just watching other people do them?

When we're kids, we act out what we see. We play house and pretend to have jobs, just because we see our parents do it. Kids want to act on the things that interest them. As they get older, this continues in appropriate ways. With sports, music, art and so much more, teens dabble in their interests. They want to do.

But it seems at some point the constant stream of opportunities to watch takes over and there's not as much time for do.

I suspect there's something going on in our brains that lets us identify somehow with the doing that is going on. We witnessed the big game, the amazing concert or the inspiring church service. Even though it wasn't us taking action, we were there and we saw it. We were somehow in on it. It's not the same, but it's enough.

And this doesn't even have to be real stuff we're watching. Fiction will suffice. An exciting story that never happened captivates our imagination for an hour at a time, week after week.

In a world that has mastered the art of grabbing our attention, this bears some honest reflection. Have we been content watching (or reading about) someone else doing something exciting instead of taking action ourselves?

If so, we are missing out and so are the people we could inspire.

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