30 September 2008

influence, abject silliness, and choice we didn't even know we had

Do you ever stop to think who is watching you...?

No, this is not some X-Files question about alien life or some libertarian rant against Big Brother.

Do you ever stop to think who we are influencing and how we are influencing them? The fact is that people are watching and being shaped by what we do and say. Apples don't fall far from the tree for a reason. We are perhaps the foremost species in nature that is influenced by "nurture".

I posted two videos this weekend and there are two more that will be posted next weekend. They are all Monty Python clips from the Flying Circus.

I didn't randomly choose to start watching that show. I latched onto it as my older brother watched them and laughed at the silliness. It didn't just shape my YouTube viewing habits, but my entire sense of humor. I think the dead parrot sketch is hilarious. And I could completely understand if other people found it to be absolutely stupid. That's the nature of outside influence. Everyone has a different source set. My source set was my brother's appreciation for clever satire and abject silliness. That same appreciation was given to me and then, as the dominoes fell, to my younger sister who grew up watching me as I watched my brother. How many 20 year-old sorority girls list Monty Python and the Holy Grail among their favorite movies? I know one.

Stop and think about the reason you like what you do. And then consider that you are giving that away to those who follow you (even if they only follow you from afar). Just as easily as a harmless sense of humor, pride and malice and deceit can be willed into future generations. We have the ability to choose, though.

Will the world we leave be more graceful or merciful? Will the generations behind us be even more consumed by self and fleeting material items?

We do have a choice.

Which things will we choose to pass on? And which things would we rather not see perpetuated?


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