Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Small window, big impact....

Although the media will never get the blame with how it truly affects the development of the human mind, I think we can all agree the media, in all of its forms, can have a HUGE impact on all of us.  

Because our minds are all as different as the situation we live in, one message may affect one person completely different than that of someone else.  For example, watching Rocky IV may not have made my sixteen year old self really want to step into the boxing ring with a steroid injected Russian giant, but it did make me want to train like Rocky and Drago.  (Yes, Rock's inverted sit-ups were truly inspiring.)

Nonetheless, the media of my youth truly did make their impact.  With the following categories, here are the media artifacts that made their way deep into my soul by the time I was a teen.



The BOOK:  
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (1964)


No book (apart from the Bible) has affected me as much as this simple book about a tree who loved a boy so much that she gave everything she had for him.  

This simple, but impactful, book truly set the stage for my views on how to approach life as well as parenting.



The MOVIE:
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)


What can I say about this crazy movie and one boy's dream of winning that prized golden ticket?  It had a huge impact on me and how not to act as a child (i.e. not like Veruca Salt).  Charlie, despite his impoverished background, was a prince among boys.

Thanks for the remake effort Johnny Depp, but you may now be seated.
  


The SONG:
Cat's in the Cradle by Harry Chapin (1974)


Welcome to the classic folk song about every father's eternal dilemma.  We, as men, are called to raise a family, provide for that family, and somehow spend enough time with our sons so they in turn can do the same with their future family.  
While women today are no doubt approaching this same pressured choice, this pressure still remains higher for the husband/father... as it should be.  

Also welcome to a major reason to why I am a providing stay-at-home father.



The NEWS EVENT:
The Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster (1986)


Boom!  In a blink of an eye, the hopes and dreams of all wannabe astronauts were forever changed as a "major malfunction" ended the lives of seven heroic astronauts, one being the "first teacher into space."  

The plume is instantly recognizable as is the bitter taste that soon forms in the back of your mouth.  This moment taught me to savor each moment forever.



The ELECTRONIC ADDICTION:


Yeah Baby!  The Atari 2600.  Released September 11, 1977 and from then on forever changing the electronic home gaming industry into being the twenty-one billion dollar industry it is today (http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/esa_ef_2013.pdf).  

I can still feel the single red buttoned controller in my prepubescent hand.  
All hail the first electronic babysitter. 


-------

Yep, there they are.  Each example still brings back a mixed smile upon my face and an indelible mark upon my heart.

Feel free to share your own in each category.