Our family rented a movie last night called "THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN, The Journals of Thomas Merton". It was a good sixties vintage movie, fit for children, and educational ta boot. The plot was simple enough; a 14 year old boy runs away from home to accomplish his dream of living off the land. After finding a hawk's nest he steals a fledgling, trains it, gives it a name, and uses it for the gathering of food.
The sobering point of our movie night was not the movie but my little girl's reaction to it. We are very protective of what our children watch and as such they have not been exposed to a whole lot of violence. In this movie the hawk is accidentally killed by a hunter. When the movie was over we noticed our daughter's sadness and in a few moments she was in tears over the pet bird's death.
This was sobering because I couldn't help but think of how much worse is dumped into America's living rooms every night and taken in by young children who are not equipped to process it; nor are aided in the processing of it; nor for that matter should ever be exposed to it. I think it would be impossible for science to measure how much damage has been done to our society through the searing of young consciences by money hungry, ratings crazy, network CEO's. It's sad how worked up our society can become over the profits of oil companies, which actually produce something good, while having no concern about the profits and motivations of those who pollute the minds of our children.
I realize that parents are not totally innocent in this, and in fact perhaps are more to blame. But if we took that argument far enough, a society could justify parent's serving up meals of cake and cotton candy with a Crown Royal chaser. Ahh but those are bad for the body; who cares what's bad for the mind and soul?