Several years ago, radio commentator Paul Harvey wrote a column about a vandal he’d known.
He told, in his typical drawn-out style, about how this fellow had committed a single act of vandalism and yet that one act changed his life dramatically.
And when Harvey completed the column, after telling about the amazing accomplishments of this person, he revealed that the single act of “vandalism” consisted of throwing out a perfectly good television set.
He then used the time he’d once wasted staring at the tube to learn languages, write, educate himself, volunteer and much more.
Harvey had a great idea for a column, but it was not a unique situation.
A recent Associated Press feature told the story of a woman who wrote a book about the experiences her family had when they unplugged from the non-stop electronic input in their lives.
Her son got back into music and when their six-month experiment was over, he sold his gaming system and went to college to study music.
Does that mean that everyone who throws out their TV will become a master of multiple languages, or that anyone who gets rid of their video games will become a great musician?
Of course not.
But it does mean that if you want to accomplish more than being entertained, you’re going to have to find the time somewhere.
Something is going to get turned off.
Either it will be the tube and the rest of the electronic time-fillers, or it will be your continued growth.
It would be a grand experiment for all of us to ask, seriously, what we’d like to accomplish this year and to be honest about what we need to turn off, what we need to change, to accomplish that goal.
Just taking the time to disconnect long enough to actually create a list of goals would be a terrific step in the right direction.
You see lots of stories like this, but you know the story you never see? You never seen the story about the person who, after learning a second language, or after perfecting a musical instrument, or after writing their novel, looked back and wished they’d spent MORE time watching TV.
— Chuck Smith