By E. Brown

Voyeuristic vs. ImaginisticI have an ongoing debate with my best friend. We tend to disagree about some television programs. She likes Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, and Desperate Housewives, while I like shows such as LOST, Heroes, and Battlestar Galactica.

I will make fun of the drama and dysfunction of the shows she watches and she will give me a hard time about the geeky sci-fi make-believe shows I watch. Granted, we watch some of each others shows, but the tell tale sign is that I can busy myself with others things while Brothers & Sisters is on (heck, I can skip it all together) and she can do likewise with my enjoyed programming.

Yet, it occurred to me the other day….

The Difference
The shows I like are make-believe and that is why they are compelling to me. I do not want to watch “real to life” drama because I get enough real world drama every day. Through the news I read, or watch, I understand there is a great amount of hurt, brokenness, and dysfunction within the world without having to watch it. This is voyeurism.

Does this mean I am trying to escape reality? No, there is no way to accomplish that outside of mind altering prescriptions. Call me optimistic, but I like shows were the characters are pitted against challenges that I can relate to, set in creative and imaginative “worlds” where they rise above the pains and sorrows they face. Better to stimulate imagination.

Loss Of Imagination
I have tried to instill in my children the joy of reading. Taking the descriptive language of the author and using their imaginations to create the characters and worlds within their minds-eye. We have been reading such classics as:

  • Journey To The Center Of The Earth
  • Around The World In 80 Days
  • Moby Dick
  • 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
  • The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader
  • The Swiss Family Robinson
  • The Silver Chair, and others.

Why is there a loss of wonder and imagination amongst many today? Could it be we are bombarded by the “real world” so much we lose the ability and turn to coping mechanisms because of stress?

Imagination is defined as:

the action of forming new ideas and concepts or images; the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.

Imagination reduces stress. It breeds innovation across vocational fields. It stimulates mental activity. Imagination is fun. It breaks new ground. It looks at issues and problems in a creative new way.

So, how about you? Are you voyeuristic or imaginistic? Let me know in the comments area below.

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