“An intriguing entomological experiment shows that a male butterfly will ignore a living female butterfly of his own species in favor of a painted cardboard one, if the cardboard one is big. If the cardboard one is bigger than he is, bigger than any female butterfly ever could be. He jumps the piece of cardboard over and over again, he jumps the piece of cardboard. Nearby, the real, living female butterfly opens and closes her wings in vain.
Films and television stimulate the body’s senses too, in big ways. A nine-foot handsome face, and its three-foot-wide smile, are irresistible. Look at the long legs on that man, as high as a wall, and coming straight toward you. The music builds. The moving lighted screen fills your brain. You do not like filmed car chases? See if you can turn away. Try not to watch. Even knowing you are manipulated, you are still as helpless as the male butterfly drawn to painted cardboard.”
Now, I don’t think we’re helpless. I think we have a choice here. But I do wonder how much of life we miss because we get captivated by the wrong things. We become more obsessed with a television show than what is going on in someone’s life. We cease to live exciting lives and settle for watching Survivor.
I definitely need to say, I love television and movies. We have a few shows we never miss: Modern Family, 60 Minutes (yes, I’m old), American Idol, Lost, and The Office. I love the mindlessness of it. It’s an escape, a gift to me, but I know I have to be careful. I’m not saying you have to turn the television off, I’m not, but I am saying look to live life not watch others doing so. I think the lesson is for us to resist the cardboard butterfly.