Thought for the Day

9 May 2019

The last episode in the current series of Line of Duty airs tonight. I will be glued to my screen. Approximately 1 in 5 of the population watch Line of Duty. Chances are you are not one of them… and therefore you couldn’t care less whether Hastings is H or not.

Getting so hooked on something that it leaves no room for anything else in our lives is not a good thing.

Drama on television retains a certain hold over a good number of US. If it’s not police and crime then it may be medical or political dramas. If it’s none of these things then it may be reality TV.

With the provision of cable we even get to choose what to watch when we watch.

But it’s not just TV that gives us what we want.

Algorithms on the internet work out what might be of interest to us. This is great on a music site because I get to hear tracks I may have forgotten about.

But there is a downside of course.

The computer helps makes us what we are. The news feed it chooses for us may help us for eg decide what is outrageous and what is not, or even how to vote and how not to vote.

Our personal world is narrowing down day by day as we become only exposed to those things that are of interest to us.

Which is why I prefer a bookshop to on line book sellers.

In a bookshop I may see items that I had never considered before and my mind is opened up.

But buying books online means that the adverts that come my way thereafter will be of books in the same genre. As a consequence I will not be exposed again to topics and issues that would likely broaden my horizons.

Many moons ago, I came across Prayers of Life by Michel Quoist, a French Catholic priest and theologian. Some of the prayers may have dated but one remains very clear in my mind.

I would like to rise very high, Lord,

Above my city

Above my world

Above time.

I would like to purify my glance and borrow your eyes.

This is the petition that tops and tales a prayer that in between identifies all the things we tend to miss if we keep our heads down or limit our minds to that which is only of immediate interest.

On the other hand lifting our heads up to catch a glimpse of the wider world about us, and beyond us, helps us to put things into perspective.

So tonight I will watch Line of Duty as I have done all the previous episodes.

But I will seek to ensure that I watch something totally different tomorrow.

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