Entertaining the soul:

America has become immersed in and obsessed with “entertainment.” Stimuli thrown at us from every direction to the point where we are becoming numb to it. Fiending for our next fix, eternally searching for a stronger dose, sacrificing ourselves and our values for a high, it is an addiction. With the comforts of modern life, we have become quite bored. When survival has been all but guaranteed, you must learn to live. Americans seem to have gotten lost on their journey though. 

We are constantly searching for a way to feel alive, yet we feel that our lives have nothing to offer us. What has been our response? To live vicariously through the fictional lives of others. Music, art, books and movies and theatre are all ways in which we share in the emotions of others. As you progress through the different forms of entertainment, the less intrapersonal the experience becomes though. Music, at its core, is a sharing of raw emotion. When you hear something, you react. Art becomes a portrayal of thought. When you see something, you pause to think about what it is. Books allow one to immerse themself in an imaginary world. When you read something, you ponder its meaning. Movies and theatre bring that imaginary world to life. When you watch something, you stop to experience it. Then came reality television. Entertainment programs built around drama and negative human emotions are portrayed as natural human interactions. A form of entertainment based on our, what I call, “nosey neighbor nature.” This is the lowest form of entertainment. 

Whichever form of entertainment we subscribe to, it begins to shape our personalities. Musicians have a way of carrying themselves that reflects the flow of their genre. Artists emulate the abstract emotions portrayed by their work. Writers interact with the world as a story to be told. Actors are chameleons taking on a different persona with each new movie or play. Entertainment is becoming a poison to our minds with the rise of reality television and social media. America is more driven by entertainment than ever as shown by our 2016 presidential election. A former reality television star has become the commander in chief, and our news reflects this with their obsession of his Twitter feed. America is as divided as ever because media, reality television and social media tell us who we are. Through these platforms, we see the nation as hypersensitive and angry. So, we behave this way believing it to be natural human interaction.

Instead of living our own lives, developing our own fantasies, and sharing our own thoughts and ideas, we try to view the world through other’s imagination. This doesn’t make us feel alive. It numbs the mind and dulls the senses. Yet the souls keep kicking, and that is what causes such turmoil. How then does one “live?” I wish I knew. I think the only way to find out, though, is to experience as much of what life has to offer as possible. Make a bucket list that is impossibly long. Take every possible opportunity as it comes your way. Learn everything there is to imagine. Imagine everything there is to learn. Humans have surpassed survival of the body. Now it is time to discover survival of the spirit.