“We have eyes, and we’re looking at stuff all the time, all day long. And I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important.” —Eric Carle
Thanks for sending me this quote, Erika. This makes so much sense to me when talking about the material things we surround ourselves with. I am going to think about what we see, what we hear.
Yes of course, we should strive to make our homes beautiful and comfortable, our workspaces should encourage work and not clutter, and we should dress tastefully and beautifully to respect ourselves. I don’t think anyone would argue with me on these points. On the other hand, in our media-focused culture, where do you draw the line? Should I protect my eyes and ears from unnecessary violence, swearing, and sexual images?
I think the answer has to be yes but the line is very blurred. There is no good gained by inputting this detrimental media into our beings. Do I stop listening to all pop music because of the swearing, sexual themes, and poor treatment of women? Do I stop watching movies unless they are rated G for the same reasons?
How much is too much? I don’t know the answer. I guess ideally we wouldn’t expose ourselves to any of it, but that seems impossible.
Fortunately, I am naturally more affected by violence, and negativity. I say fortunately because I don’t want to be someone who sees suffering and doesn’t notice. I try not to watch very many unnecessarily violent movies. The more violence you are exposed to the less you notice it. The less you see the human being behind the suffering. The same goes for swearing and sexual content. The more you see and hear it, the less it bothers you or you even notice it. My natural tendencies make it a little easier to stay away from this type of negative media, but I still have to work hard to limit my intake.
Am I advocating for naiveté? Avoiding the news, avoiding all media, avoiding all sorrowful things? Absolutely not. Thats where the ‘important’ part of the quote comes in. It is important to know what is happening in our world. It is important to be aware and active against the evil and darkness in our world. There isn’t a right or easy answer; which is the most compelling problem to think about. I am determined to think more critically when I consume music, social media, books, movies, and so on. You are what you surround yourself with and I would like to be innocent, not naive, and joyful, not negative.
Share your thoughts! I’d love to hear what you think. Are there any guidelines that help you make decisions?