I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Thursday, May 1, 2014

"Turn on Life"

As much as I have faith in young people, I admit I also have moments of doubt...

In advisory this morning, a couple of the 6th grade girls were trying to spread the word about National Screen Free Week. In doing so, they asked their classmates to take a pledge to self-regulate (not eliminate) use of electronics and screen devices. With the uproar of excuses, sighs, and complaints, you would have thought they asked the students to stop watching television for the rest of their lives.

Honestly, it made me sick. To not be able to give up one hour (or even 30 minutes) of screen time a day for one week - wow. What does that say about kids (and, let's face it, adults too) these days? What does this say about our culture/society? Where are our values? Where are our priorities?

It's the playoffs.
I can't give up video games - I only get an hour a night on the weekdays as it is.
I have to watch my tv shows.
I always use my phone during dinner - what's the problem?

I tried the angle that their parents' generation didn't even have cell phones, computers, and (color) televisions, and do you know what some of the kids said to that? Since they didn't have those things in the first place it wouldn't be as much of a temptation to give up. Maybe that's true, but it missed the point - they didn't need those things. That generation knew how to play pick up ball games, ride their bikes down the street, enjoy family dinners, and have real conversations.

As the girls who presented left the classroom this morning (after the others), I told them that they're fighting an uphill battle...but to keep trying. We need to make every effort to be aware of how much time we spend in front of our computers, televisions, and smartphones. (Yes, maybe it's a bit ironic that I'm writing this on my computer.) In the words of the campaign, we need to "turn off screens and turn on life."

Are you ready and willing to take the challenge and to encourage others to do the same?

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