Over the holidays, I spent a lot of time sick, and/or of nursing sick family members, which meant watching a lot of television. It was then, contemplating the new year we’re about to herald in, that my television viewing epiphany happened: life is better in High Definition (HD).
We were introduced to the world of television with a few hours of programming a day, and as many channels. I grew up with twelve channels and a dial on the television to change the channel. My kids are growing up with hundreds of channels, much of it is HD programming and they can’t imagine having to get up to change the channel.
The first time I saw a show in HD, it was a football game. I felt there; right in the bleachers. It was so real, I worried that people would never get off their couches again. I don’t buy the super package of channels and movies for that reason, I wanted to still have an excuse to get off the couch and have a life. I’ve often cursed the television, so imagine my surprise when it was while I stared at the boob-tube these last two weeks that I would learn one of my most important life lessons.
Too many of us live in black and white, stuck on one or two channels. Our eyes are not open enough to everything going on around us and around the world. We miss out on so much colour, so much context, so much life. Many of us never travel, never try new foods, or life experiences because we’re trapped with Beaver Cleaver’s family.
Some of us now consider mealtime as thaw and heat and yet, preparing our food and enjoying it with loved ones is one way to connect with our planet and the people that are important to us.
We also don’t appreciate or protect our green spaces. We’ve stopped connecting with nature. We need to be grounded and to do so we have to come in contact with the earth. Nothing will make you marvel more than the beauty of a walk in nature in any season; be it the vivid or lush greens of spring and summer, the kaleidoscope of colour in fall, or the fifty shades of white in winter.
We dial into our jobs and have forgotten how to find purpose in our work to be happy and engaged in an activity we spend the majority of our lives doing.
We’ve stopped connecting intimately with our friends, and our family. Social media has made that easy for us: we post a photo here and a status update there and forget the nuance and importance of sitting across a table from someone sipping a cup of tea and hearing the inflections in their voice that let you know everything really is or isn’t “fine.”
We take our marriages as a ‘done deal’ that doesn’t require upgrading, even if they started in the black and white era. We chose our spouses for many reasons. We need to remember and cherish those reasons and so many more. Once you’ve experience true love, it’s like HD and you never want to go back to regular television, let alone black and white. So be grateful for your HD love and show it.
Remember that black and white television was good when it was all that we had, but going from HD back to black and white now would be unconscionable and yet we do this in our lives every day. We have to recapture our ability to discern details around us.
We need to look on everything we do as though it is an HD channel. We need to notice the little things, and most importantly, we need to be grateful for them.
Whether making a simple salad, or snuggling up to your lover, take a moment to notice the details and be grateful for them. It may be the red blush of a tomato or your lover’s cheeks or the creases in the crisp lettuce or the laugh lines beside your sweetheart’s mouth.
The beauty of HD is all around us. We need to turn off the television to stop and notice the finer points. Beyond noticing, we need to be thankful for all of it., and to say thanks too. When we do, everything becomes even more crisp and clear.
Happy New Year!