Day 4… (posted by my friend and coworker Caitlin!)

My mom used to tell me a story when she disapproved of the music, movies, or TV shows I would consume. It went something like this…

Do you like brownies Danny? (only my mom and her friends still call me Danny but you can if you want!)

Yes mom, I like brownies.

I want you to picture the perfect pan of brownies. As I pull them out of the oven, you san see little streams of steam defying gravity and carrying hints of cocoa into the air. The top and bottom of the chocolatey goodness are soft to the touch, and the middle is slightly doughy. Now you know from looking at the deep dark-brown crumbly masterpiece that the flavor will be rich, so you grab a cup of ice-cold white milk to wash it down.

Mom, what’s the point?

Now hold on a second, I’m almost done. Now as I cut the brownies, the cakey chocolate clings to the knife — taunting your tastebuds and begging you to consume. I grab a slice, put it on your plate, and you carefully walk back to the table. As you grab your fork to dig in, I stop you and say: ‘Danny, there’s something I forgot to tell you. I mixed in a little bit of dog poop into the batter, but you shouldn’t be able to taste it.’ Now, Danny — would you eat the brownies?

Remember, I was an ornery kid so naturally my answer was, “Ya, I’d eat the brownies.” But you and I know that my answer was just a ploy to make my mom feel like her speech fell on deaf ears. Her point was for me to be careful about what I’m consuming with my heart and mind. Sometimes I agreed with her that a movie or show was bad, but a lot of times I thought she was just an overprotective and out-of-touch mom.

But the questions she raised in my mind, are ones that I still struggle with today. Questions like: What books, magazines, movies, shows and songs are okay for me to consume? When is something too dirty or too inappropriate? Every movie I can think of has something I don’t agree with in it — does that mean I shouldn’t watch any movies?

The answers to a lot of these questions fluctuates over time. In the past, I have been convinced to throw away all of my secular music. It felt good the day I broke the CD’s, but it hurt a couple of months later when I was looking for a good rock or oldies song on my iPod. Itunes loved me because I bought some of the same albums numerous times depending on my spiritual “convictions”. Every time I went through a “throw it all out” cycle, I knew it wasn’t the solution. Have you ever done something similar — ridding yourself of all your secular music, movies, or magazines? Is getting rid of it all really the solution?

Recently, CPYU exposed me to the 3D Media Evaluation Guide by Walt Mueller. I really wish that I’d had access to this as a teen because it’s really good at helping us think through what is good or bad to watch or consume. Check it out by clicking here.

How do you decide what’s okay to watch or listen to? I’d love to hear your thoughts — you may comment below… 

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Featured organization for 10 Days Without Media is CPYU, click here to learn more.

*picture borrowed: I picked it because it was one of the more tasty pictures of brownies on the internet. There are some gross ones as well. Just a little marketing advice to some of you recipe posters out there, if you are trying to sell a recipe — pick or take a good picture of the product!


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