Are you thankful this year or discontented?

I recently read a blog post from Seth Godin called “The engine of our discontent” (his is one of the few blogs I read regularly). These words struck home as I find that I can lack contentment based on what I see around me. I’ll quote his blog post below for you to read and to think about, and I highlight what is for me the most convicting section.

When TV first was adopted, it was a magical gift. The shows united our culture and the ads fueled a seemingly endless consumer boom.

Today, though, marketers have turned television into an instrument of dissatisfaction. The shows alienate many, because they bring an idealized, expensive world into the homes of people who increasingly can’t afford it. And the ads remind just about everyone that their lives are incomplete and unhappy–unless they buy what’s on offer. Worse, cable news is optimized to shock, frighten and divide the people who watch it.

Social media can amplify all of these downward cycles. It’s TV times 1,000.

Hence a middle class, millions of people who would be as rich as kings in any other time or place, that’s angry and disappointed and feeling left behind. Victims of a media regime where they are both the user and the product.

Every time TV and social media become significant time sinks in a household, pleasure goes up and happiness goes down.

The solution is simple and difficult. We can turn it off. If it’s not getting you what you need or want, turn it off for a few hours.

As we approach Thanksgiving, are you truly thankful for all the Lord’s given you, or are you in a state of discontent? Are you aware of the way media feeds your outlook on life? Of all the weeks of the year, this is a good one for us to take a few extra minutes in quiet, away from our screens, and ponder the goodness of the Lord in your life. Our entire nation has set aside a day to be thankful. Perhaps we should take advantage?