In IS THIS A “GOOD” BUSINESS MODEL? — PART 1, we considered that much of what the mass media broadcasts is trashy, vile, and misleading. Since I only introduced the subject in the post, the best content is in the comments. Please read them.
So what is this post about? To express our disgust with the mass media, the usual thing is to tear it down and discourage people from making use of it. That does not seem profitable. What we stand for matters more than what we are against. When someone complained about his position on an issue, consider how President Grover Cleveland retorted.
In December 1887 he called on Congress to reduce high protective tariffs. Told that he had given Republicans an effective issue for the campaign of 1888, he retorted, “What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?” But Cleveland was defeated in 1888; although he won a larger popular majority than the Republican candidate Benjamin Harrison, he received fewer electoral votes. (from here)
Cleveland lost in 1888, but he won later in 1892. Then, as his predecessor was leaving office, he found himself confronting the Panic of 1893, perhaps the worst financial crisis in the country’s history. Curiously, even though it started while his predecessor was still in office, it seems the public blamed Cleveland for the mess.
We are a fickle bunch, but we don’t have to be that way. How do we avoid being fickle? We can form our opinions based upon careful study. That includes making better use of the mass media.
- Our viewing choices affect what the people who run the mass media produce. Because they want an audience, they produce more of what we watch. If we insist upon listening only to those programs that require careful research and a balance presentation of differing views, that is what those folks will try to produce.
- We become what we let our minds dwell upon. If watch and listen to pornography, then we become obsessed with sex and begin to see people as objects for our pleasure. If we enjoy violence on the screen, then we begin to see the exercise of force as the solution for problems. Therefore, we should strive to watch programs that are truly beautiful and lovely, not just stinking appeals to our worst animal instincts.
- When we just need to relax and to be entertained, we can choose programs that are uplifting, not something that belongs in garbage can. Sometime the best thing to do is to resort to “big screen TV”. We can set out on the back porch, enjoy our family’s company, listen to the birds, and watch the squirrels play in the trees.
On his death-bed, these were Cleveland’s last words.
I have tried so hard to do right. (from here)
Would anyone call those words flashy or original? Yet imagine what Cleveland must have desired to hear from our Master.
Matthew 25:21 New King James Version (NKJV)
21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
Even the President of the United States, whose power and authority we make much of, can be faithful over only a few things. Just as He will do for us, God measured out Cleveland’s reward in heaven based upon his faithfulness over a few things.
You and I are not presidents. Most of us are masters and mistresses only of ourselves and our children, but just as Cleveland did, we too have the duty to manage our time and money well. We have obligations to our spouses, friends and neighbors. We don’t have presidential powers and responsibilities, but our Lord has given us important things to do.
- Are we investing our time and talents in activities which bring glory to God?
- Are we spreading the message of the Gospel?
- Does how we choose to spend our time show our love for our family, friends and neighbors?
- Do we strive to set a good example for others, especially our children?
Who is the best example of a good and faithful servant? Jesus, of course, but even though He is our example, the degree of perfection we should seek, we all have trouble imagining being Jesus. Jesus is God. Perhaps that is why he gave us another example, a simple man who was faithful over a few things, The Good Samaritan.
The Good Samaritan had some time, a beast of burden, and a little money. What God had given him, he used to be a good and faithful servant.
We can use the mass media to help us learn to love each other, or we can use the mass media to help us learn to use each other. That is our choice.
Will I love my neighbor or use him?
That is the question each of us must ask our self.