Point of View // 10.07.2011

Blinded by the Music

Article by Tumisang R

There’s this song I used to love throughout high school: “Sometimes I run, sometimes I hide, sometimes I’m scared of you, when all I really want is to hold you tight and treat you right……” I loved it so much that after a painful breakup with my high school sweetheart, it seemed to be the perfect theme song.

Now, ten years later I had a disagreement with my fiancé about color preference for a car and the song came back to my mind in a flash. But now, I’m older and more mature. I do not let songs like that surface to my lips, lest I confess the wrong things into my life. This is not because I have learned positive-thinking skills at some seminar. No,  it is because I have seen for myself how my  thoughts  influence the words I speak, and how the words I speak influence the way my life turns out. And what influences my thoughts?  Music, television, books, friends, family, and colleagues.

The things we see and hear seriously influence our thinking. Although we might not be able to stop our colleagues from cursing, we control what plays on our screens and iPods. This is why some have concluded that the poor will remain poor while the rich get richer. Of course that is not God’s truth, but whoever first said this must have made some observations worth noting. I would like to quickly give a little explanation of my own. Say I became rich, I must have figured something out about making money. Now because I want my sisters and my children to also get rich, I will feed them with the same information I received. They will hear what I heard, see what I saw and in return reap the same harvest I reaped. Meanwhile, another person is poor. He listens to Radio Buzz which repeats the latest community gossip and world tragedies, and watches things that are not helping him get out of poverty. When he speaks to his sisters and children, he tells them what he knows which is based on what he has heard on the radio and on TV. What he has heard has not changed his life for the better, but now this same poor information is being fed to his sisters and children. Outcome: they too become poor and repeat a cycle which will take someone who thinks differently to break it.

So, when arguing with my fiancé and that song came to my mind what did I do? I remembered a sermon my pastor preached over three years ago about relationships. He gave practical examples of love and quoted the Bible where it says that love is patient. I knew that in my case, patience was exactly what I had to exercise.  Thankfully, I am past the girlhood phase of running to a naive group of friends who would have advised me to ignore my fiancé’s calls for the next week to teach him a lesson. As ridiculous as that may sound, many of us do this when faced with challenges. We take anything we hear without sieving it and then when things go wrong we blame God, who was never part of the drama in the first place. But the point is that what we let into our minds, be it conversation or certain kinds of music,  affects who we are becoming. Someone who chants “I like it when it hurts” all day every day will have a desire for a dangerous thrill, some “sweet pain” while someone who is reading an inspirational biography is busy sharpening their skills and preparing to become a better person.

We allow our children to watch soapies and get worried when they kiss us goodnight with their tongues stuck out. There has also been recent concern over young girls buying contact lenses with large irises to make their eyes look wide like Lady Gaga’s in her music video “Bad Romance”.  People were concerned that the contacts were not safe for the girls’ eyes. However, the greater concern is that children are worshipping celebrities and do whatever they see them do on TV. We cannot afford to underestimate the power that media has to corrupt our thinking if we are not careful.

Let us have a little more value for ourselves and guard jealously what goes into us so that we do not wake up years from now and realize that we have wasted our lives ingesting garbage. As adults we have no one but ourselves to hold responsible for our own lives. We must guard our hearts and look out for our young loved ones as well.


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