Tag Archives: reality

Dead on arrival

He held her hand as they strolled on the beach.  She has always enjoyed these moments, just the two of them in quietness, enjoying nature and each other’s company.  It was early dawn and the beach was empty. The only sounds were from the waves beating the shore, the sand screaming under their bare feet and the sea gulls calling their loved ones. It seemed like they have been there forever and have become almost sedated by nature’s rhythm.

When she was with him she always felt safe, she always forgot about the frustrations and challenges in her life. She was always happy and never wants to let go. He was her life line the substance of her dreams. “Why couldn’t I choose this life” she thought, “he has asked me to marry him, why have I not given him an answer”. This was all she has always wanted, a man to love her unconditionally and cherish her immeasurably, a father for her children who also doubles as a protector for them all.

She touched his arm to get his attention and was just about to tell him she would be honored to be his wife; when she heard her name floating in the winds, faint but unmistakable. She paused waiting to hear it again; he looked at her with questioning eyes waiting for her to talk. She was about to continue when it was as if someone shouted her name right inside her ears.

In an instant the imagery had dissolved and she saw herself lying on a tattered mattress with an angry woman hovering over her. She sighed, “It was all a dream” she thought; now this is her reality.  She has two beautiful children to feed, she had no job, and they were squatting with a bad tempered woman in a ramshackle shed. Her life had collapsed after her drunkard husband threw her and the kids out of the house that was 6 weeks ago. Now she is mother and father, protector and provider.

As the length of time she had been awake turned from seconds to minutes, she came to a sobering conclusion, “this was not a place of dreams but of  survival, in this place dreams are dead on arrival and only the willful survive”.

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DISTORTED REALITY

There are a thousand and one reality programs airing on televisions stations worldwide and many more jostling for airtime on television channels. From Big Brother ©to Survivor© to Panic Room© to Fear Factor© and so many others too numerous to mention, all are seeking for our attention.  For every ten reality programs that get air time on stations twenty or thirty more had been rejected. Individuals and families are accepting to have the camera follow them 24/7 for a reality show that they   hope will entertain the viewership, get them some financial benefit and probably make them celebrities in the long run.

With all these, one is bound to question if there is reality in these programs or just an advanced level of make believe. What the viewers want to see determines what you showcase as “reality” in the reality program. So as advanced as we think we have become in intelligence and knowledge we are still being deceived into watching fiction only that now we have given it a new nomenclature; Reality TV.

When families participate in these programs it creates a problem for those watching who want to use them as role models and the ideal of what a family will be. So families start working to unattainable goals that end up causing rifts in the fabrics of the family because the goal set is not only unattainable but unrealistic. Without trying to be judgmental, a lot of these programs cut off unsavory family issues which they believe will not enhance the entertainment value of the program and yet it is these issues that make a family.

That argument you have with your Dad not about your girlfriend or getting a drivers license but about his decision to cut down your allowance because of your flouting a particular rule or the debate about not wanting to go to Harvard Law but wanting to pursue a career in writing. These are the things that make a family; these are the blocks upon which families are elevated.

For growing children and especially teenagers it creates a perception disturbance in their lives. Trying to marry the “reality” of reality TV with the reality of their own homes, it creates a distortion that reflects in their relationship with their parents and siblings; when they begin to make demands of their parents and siblings that have no basis in reality.

Among individual reality shows the problems are the same or almost the same. When a person’s character strengths and positives are constantly glamorized, they are made into demigods with no failings. That is a pretty high standard for that adolescent who is trying to find his feet in life and really define who he is. It makes him learn to cover his deficiencies instead of understanding that it’s the quirks in our characters that make us who we are. So he learns a life of pretense, building a façade round his life that makes him at some point to lose the identity of who he is. Tell a lie for a long time and it starts looking like the truth and eventually becomes your truth.

Our realities are being defined by these shows and its causing a misperception of reality for us. What is my reality and how is it connected to the reality of the world? These shows have inadvertently focused on and exaggerated the entertaining aspect of life and done away with the negative, the base human nature, and the primitive instincts that make us who we are. It has removed our minds from the freedom to fail that creates geniuses out of us and gives us courage to dare to change the status quo.

A generation grows up thinking that the life of family “A” on reality TV is how life should be. A home where there are minimal to know disagreements, where every quarrel is settled to everyone’s advantage, the children and the parents are always on the same page or most of the times are.

Glamour and entertainment is what the world is about today and so individuals and families are being remolded to fit that paradigm and what better way than through misrepresented reality. To be sure, not all reality programs are bad some have something good to offer and even for the crassly bad ones there still maybe one or two things to learn from them.

It’s high time we log out from this black hole of reality misrepresentation and see these programs as nothing more than fictional programs which are no more than the Lord of the Rings or the Star wars or the Gladiator movies.

We knew they were beautiful works of fiction and we enjoyed them for what they were, because nobody tried to sell us a load of goods that they were “reality shows”.

Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it flow the issues of life. (Prov.4:23)

Questioning my Sanity

I saw it, I know I did

But they said I didn’t.

I felt it, not as light touch but a firm hand on my shoulder,

But they said it was the wind.

I am sure it wasn’t wind that held my shoulder.

It wasn’t a dream replaying in my head.

If I dreamt I must have slept,

But sleeping I did not do.

If it was imagination,

I must have lost some time engaged in it.

But I can account for all my time.

Yet they want to convince me I did dream or imagine

Now I must prove myself sane

I must prove my reality.

It’s hard when nobody believes you

It’s even harder when you realize they are pretending to be helpful

Harder as it becomes,

More motivated I must be.

For if I fail to prove my reality,

I will forever be looked at like a loon.