How many hours do you spend watching sports? How about reading US Weekly or People magazine?
Sadly, I watch hours and hours of sports. I am guilty of giving away my time to what are essentially meaningless pursuits. As Americans we’re feed entertainment that is designed to be advertised against. Media is essentially created to be banal and unoffensive so ads can bombard us.
If you are McDonald’s you do not want to try and sell burgers to people watching shows about the latest atrocities being committed in Africa, or on a biography of a local radical (who may actually make sense). Our systems of entertainment are designed to keep us uninformed and docile. It’s ok. We’re complicit and you can’t really be expected to consume hard core news all the time.
However, you can take one to two hours a week to find out what is really going on in the world. It doesn’t take that much to be aware. To not watch the fourth hour of highlight shows or buy the latest trash magazine of the same story you read about a different celebrity six months ago. (You do realize its the same story rehashed over and over again)
Don’t know where to start? Here are a few topics that you can learn about that might move your brain in new direction:
– Renewable energy and why it’s important.
– East African politics (Sudan,Somolia)
– The American Education system – how bad is it really?
– How to be creative? Where do ideas come from and how can I apply to my own job.
– Real economics – not GDP numbers or abstract number in the trillions but REAL policy. Why do we cut taxes and why are deficits in government bad. (They keep saying it, but why?)
– Sustainability – not just in the environment but in work, in ideas, and in everything. Think about this – when you buy your 15th pair of shoes – what does that mean? How was it made and what happens when you throw your shoes away?
– Behavioral economics – why do you buy what you buy? Do you need it? Or have you in fact been trained to by things by fear, aspiration and desperation.
– Happiness? What does it mean? How do you get it. And the affect that income has on it. Think about it – you’ve had 2-4 new jobs in the last 5 years – make more money than your parents ever did – yet you take meds to be happy? Why is that? Why aren’t we happier. (The academics behind it really)
All I am trying to get it is to challenge our own status quo’s. We ask for change all the time but what does it mean, what are you doing in your own life to change status quo. Innovate and disrupt you own life first, before asking others to do so. Just takes an hour or two a week.