Wake Up! Wake Up! Wake Up!

On any given night, millions upon millions of people around the world turn on their TV’s and watch the news. And millions upon millions of people broadcast murder, assault, mayhem, death, robbery, fraud, sexual assault, rape, and too many more destructive human behaviors to name into their homes. Homes where our babies live, homes where our pets live, homes where our grade school children play and our teenage kids do homework, where our family cooks dinner and eats, where we entertain guests and the place where everyone in the family sleeps. For all intents and purposes, our homes are a safe place that act as a haven for the people that live there. A protected place that we retreat to every night after a long day of work or school that offers us a sense of peace and security.

In 1993, 4,000 transcendental meditators from 82 countries descended on Washington DC for 53 days of focused meditation with only one intent in mind: to curb violent crime. Hours of scientific analysis had found that the efforts of these 4,000 focused meditators had curbed violent crime 18% in the city of Washington DC from June 7 to July 30 in 1993.

Now, if the concerted effort of 4,000 meditators, focusing on peace, harmony and oneness can decrease violence, just imagine how broadcasting hours upon hours of murder, rape, assault, violence, conspiracy and general degenerative behavior into our homes, our offices, our sacred places of worship and into our schools actually increases that behavior.

Have you ever tried to find a real human interest story on the news? Good luck… What about the video game consoles that you have in your home like XBOX or Playstation and the addiction that your children and you may have to games like: Grand Theft Auto, Dead Space, Fortnite, Resident Evil, Doom, Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty to name just a few.  How are they spreading, contributing to and escalating, expanding and intensifying violence? The signs are all around, but we continue, as individuals apart of many communities (towns, counties, states, countries, continents and the global community) to miss them, to ignore them, to outright fight against them.

In any given moment, millions upon millions upon millions of people are interacting with their hand-held phones. And millions upon millions upon millions of people are addicted to checking their email, texting, being voyeuristic on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or 1,000 other social media platforms, engaged in the many stages of shopping (name your go to: Amazon, Walmart, Kohls, Target, Zara, Home Depot, Dicks and the list goes on to infinity) researching, browsing, checking the alternatives, purchasing and the post-purchase evaluation (short-lived happiness or buyer’s remorse), the narcissism and low self-esteem that fuels taking endless self-portraits or selfies or the incessant picture taking or videoing at every event, every meal, every hike, every sporting event, every get-together, every party, every walk, every event or moment with your child and the list goes on and on. When is enough phone time, enough? When are enough material possessions, enough? When are enough pictures and videos enough?       

Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren said “I always turn to the sports section first. The sports page records people’s accomplishments; the front page has nothing but man’s failures” (Sports Illustrated, 1968). There was a time, and I am not exactly sure, when sport was a pure form of expression. When it revealed the greatest attributes of man, which was the ability to reach true potential by realizing one limits and then far exceeding them. The landscape has changed drastically. On any given day, millions upon millions of people gamble on everything from professional to college football, baseball, basketball, car racing and golf (PGA v. LIV).  Many of these leagues have become billion-dollar industries and with that much money at stake, the invitation for fraud, corruption and exploitation is, in most cases, too seductive. Just look at the FIFA (payoffs), The Olympic Committee (payoffs), NCAA (USC, SMU, U of M basketball and the list goes on), NFL (concussion and racism), F1 (cheating) scandals to name a few. And, one of the main drivers of that corruption, is the advent of mainstream gambling platforms. Now, I am not suggesting that illegal and legal betting hadn’t corrupted sport before the introduction of gaming sites like FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, BetRivers, DraftKings Sportsbooks. But what I am suggesting is that the exposure is widespread and the participants start at a much earlier age. Sports betting today is done by all ages, and I mean all ages – as early as middle school. And, by the time they get to high school and college, addiction can’t help but run high.

When you remove the veil, you start to see this life and all of its trappings for what they are. I believe the “veil” philosophy started back in Roman times with the Gladiator Games put on by the emperor of the time and where they “…used to keep the poor and unemployed entertained and occupied. The emperor hoped to distract the poor from their poverty in the hopes that they would not revolt.” Today, the purpose for these disruptions vary. Distractions like the news keep us locked in fear of our own neighborhoods, our fellow man and the world in general by incessantly broadcasting the promotion of violence. Our phones keep us forever distracted and engrossed in everything from meaningless emails and miscomprehended texts because of a lack of inflection to social media reels, TikToks and posts. The other danger is the phone’s ability to satiate a persons need for instant gratification by delivering a ton of material crap that ¾ of the time is unneeded and the other ¼ of the time it is also unneeded. Its consumerism that will bury us in our own waste. While the incessant “selfies” are creating a whole generation that suffer from narcissistic and histrionic personality disorder. And, that has everything to do with the burning need to mark every single moment of your, your child’s, your friend’s and family’s lives with a video or picture. You failed to experience the magnitude of those moments because you were too busy worrying about the post you were going to make after visiting the Eiffel Tower or the Pyramids of Giza or The Pantheon. And, finally the bastardizing of sport that is all about the money and has managed to introduce gambling to a whole young generation of kids.

It would seem as if there is no answer in sight, because we are being bombarded from all directions. But, that is far from the truth because there are some simple answers. 

For those of us who did not suffer great loss or who were not responding to the sick during the quarantine, we were shown a glimpse of what life can feel like by slowing its pace. 

With sports, television shows and movies on hold, people had to find other ways of entertaining themselves. And, they were usually done with the family. We also put our consumerism on hold. We entertained ourselves less on our phones and more with our close circle of friends. Listen, I am not asking for a quarantine repeat, what I am asking is for you to look into your heart and start to identify today’s real culprits and then connect to the solutions that work for you and your family.   

Important note: Although I do not watch the news, I am on my phone way too much and buy stuff I truly don’t need and I have gambled on golf in the past. I am only able to write about this because I too am trying to figure out how to curb it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top