Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Influence: leggings and the breakdown of society

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about influence.  Much of the time, we don’t even recognize the things that influence us.  And that can be dangerous.  I mean I used to say, “I will never wear leggings, they are so 80’s.”  And then without a conscious turning point I found myself the somewhat humbled owner of three pairs of leggings.  How did that happen?!  I was so dead set against them and now there they are in my closet.  Influence.  Over a period of time the barracades I had set up against the evils of the leggings were worn down by their incessant appearances in advertisements and fashions I saw on tv and in magazines and in stores and on friends.  And I, once a staunchly opposed to the leggings craze, found myself not only liking them, but owning them!

Ok, so leggings aren’t really causing a major break down in society.  That was probably not the worst influence.  But what about all of the other things that we are influenced toward day in and out?  This is something I find myself thinking about a lot.  Especially in regard to kids.  What is the lead character in that television show influencing kids to think is right?  What quality is that ad influencing kids to hold in high regard?  What information is that movie influencing kids to take as moral truth?  It’s not all bad by any means, but it’s not all good either.  We’ve got to be aware of the influences that are all around us and our children.  We need to know how to recognize these influences and not just be undiscerning consumers of media.  Instead of just taking in whatever is set in front of us, we need to be able to identify positive influence and reinforce it or identify negative influence and react appropriately.  Hmmm… easy to say, harder to do, but worth the effort, right?  Let’s keep thinking about this.

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