Monday, 15 March 2010

why don't you...?

One of the strongest memories I have of summer holidays from school is a TV programme called "why don't you...?". Do you remember it. It was usually on about 9.25 and it was on either BBC1 or 2. This was before the days of widespread multi-channel TV, kids.

In all honesty, the only thing I can really recall is the theme tune - and one particular lyric: "why don't you... just switch off your TV set and do something less boring instead". (you can see the whole title sequence here on the BBC site).

Just think. We, the viewer, were being invited to switch off the programme. Before it started. Now that wasn't the point of it. But it's something that's reverberated around my head for all the years since. Just switch off the TV and do something else. Sometimes, there's things worth watching, however it's very rarely that I'll put the TV on just to see what's on. So when reading what Seth had to say here and his reference to Clay Shirky's keynote on Cognitive Surplus, it reminded me of that song. And the invitation.

I think about what I do with an evening and often, as with many of us, it's doing things around the house, preparing for a future event or doing a book. While I might not feel like I'm working towards an MBA in my evenings, the time spent keeping the family in clean clothes or clearing up after myself (!) means there's more time for other things.

More recently, the acquisition of a Wii has brought a mix of entertainment and exercise into the house too. Which can't be bad.

Or can it?

I agree with Seth. My one caveat is the importance of rest. Finding the unforced rhythms of grace is so crucial. We can't run forever like we've got a limitless source of energy. We need rest. Not sloth. Just times of quiet, or space, or refreshing our senses.

What are you up to tonight?

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