What Ever Happened To Reading A Good Book?

Copyright (c) 2008 Mind Body Spirit Central, LLC

In a recent program on National Public Radio, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. talked about how today in the U.S., people know more about “events” like the results of “American Idol” (on the 10 or 11 p.m. news!) and celebrity “news” (insert name of celebrity here) than they do about public and social concerns, not only those in the U.S. but also around the world.

In fact, the U.S. major “news” outlets (e.g., C.N.N., MSNBC, Fox) spend more airtime recycling and regurgitating the celebrity “news” that they do on any other story (e.g., Paris Hilton’s jail woes in 2007). And, more and more reality shows with little or no content come out every season…

Yes, it is the “dumbing” down of the U.S. public.

This phenomenon is not limited to the United States. Studies in Australia have also shown that too much television causes marked memory loss. The researchers believe that passive television viewing does not intellectually stimulate the brain or mind. In fact, most shows do not stimulate critical thinking.

And, today on 21 August 2008, in a story reported by Christine Ollivier of the Associated Press, France has banned French T.V. channels from airing programming aimed at children younger than three years of age. For foreign programs that are offered on cable, a warning message will be broadcast at the beginning of each show! (wow, just like a package of cigarettes!) Health experts have stated that “Television viewing hurts the development of children under three years old. Risks include slow language acquisition and development, over-excitedness, troubles with CONCENTRATION and more”.

Yet, children continue to spend on average up to 4 hours per day watching television according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. In comparison, they spend on average ONLY 2 hours and 14 minutes PER WEEK studying and doing school work (USA Today Weekend Magazine).

What’s more, children who watch too much television are more likely to be overweight and obese. And if your child watches 3 to 4 hours of television per day, he will have seen about 8,000 murders (!) on T.V. by the time he finishes grade school. In comparison, the average American adult watches nearly five hours of television per day (A.C. Nielsen).

And, obesity is on the rise in adults as well. According to the CDC, only four states (Colorado, Hawaii, Connecticut and Vermont) had obesity prevalence rates below 20 percent, while 17 states had prevalence rates equal to or above 25 percent. In a recent BBC America program on health and wellness, in the U.K. obesity is approaching 25% of the population.

In addition, more television means less communication with others both inside and outside the home. When the television is on for hours each day, it’s much more difficult to have real conversations with the people in your life. Over time, less communication means weaker relationships and less of other important things in your life.

So what can you do? Well…turn off the television and begin to use tools that can develop your mind in a positive and productive manner! And, the good news is that there are many great self-improvement systems in print that have content on how your can develop your mental powers of concentration, thinking and more. In addition, there are many that give you the strategies to improve your positive, quality INTERPERSONAL (i.e., face-to-face) communication with others, that can lead to wealth, prosperity and abundance in your life. In fact, if you look at many successful people today, you will see that they are master communicators.

In addition, look for resources that show you how know to use the tools of consciousness and wisdom to find the spiritual power within you. The goal of which is to become less focused on “the Self” and more focused on the truth that will lead you to happiness. Communication with others will be improved, and the doors to a life of abundance will open for you.

MOTIVATE yourself and take time to develop your mind and spirit. Turn off the television. And even take some time away from the iPod and Blackberry. Put them aside. Don’t worry, they will still be there waiting for you.

Every action you take defines your life. Wake up, become aware and take action today to make your mind “sharp as a tack”.

Keith A. Shaw, President of http://www.MindBodySpiritCentral.com . Headquartered in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, Keith is an authority on motivation, success, self improvement, Qigong for health and wellness. He is the author and creator of “The Power Of Thought”, and “The Power Of Concentration” Motivation and Success Systems, along with “The Power Of Serenity And Peace” Spirituality and Happiness System.

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