I don’t watch a lot of TV. Every once in a while, when I tune into ‘what’s on’, I am strangely drawn to the genre now popularly referred to as ‘reality television’. I can’t explain why I find this genre interesting (programs like ‘Big Brother’ or ‘Spendaholics’ don’t really seem to have much of a story-line); I guess I watch them because I want to fully understand our own society. Human nature is a curious thing. I also enjoy watching documentaries, but whilst documentaries are logical, informative and carefully structured, reality shows tend to be unstructured and somewhat spontaneous.
The themes of most reality shows focus on obsessions, materialism or image concerns. ‘Wifeswap’ is one which looks at lifestyles and beliefs. Most of these programs highlight the neuroses of our culture, and by bringing it to our attention, they really emphasise the kind of beliefs we are buying into. Beliefs influence thoughts (attitudes), words, actions, and hence contribute to the way our society is. We are buying into ideas which make us feel unhappy. The statements below express some of these poisonous ideas:
-“I simply have to have those new shoes.”
-“If I don’t buy my kids everything they want, then they’ll think I don’t love them.”
-“I want to make my face look like Halle Berry’s / Gwyneth Paltro’s / Brad Pitt’s.”
-“When I’m skinny then I’ll be happy.”
These statements endorse the idea that a person needs something external in order to achieve something internally. But it works THE OTHER WAY. When you achieve the right things internally, it benefits you externally, too. Positive thoughts, loving actions and self-acceptance lead to physical health and natural well-being. So, why buy into something which will make you unhappy?