The Value of Entertainment

It’s been a tough year for our family. It has been a time full of challenges as I worked hard to meet the needs of my mother who suffered health issues for about a year before going on hospice in May of 2015. She went to be with our Lord in June, followed by my favorite aunt in October. A dear friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer almost two years ago. I shared his journey, often meeting him for breakfast at the local diner, countless phone conversations, and helping when he needed a ride to a radiation treatment.  We laughed and cried and prayed together. He joined my mom and aunt in heaven in the middle of November. Walking alongside my family and friends during this time was very hard on me emotionally, and the precious time I could grab to forget about what was going on, if only for a little bit, gave me the strength I needed to keep going.

My favorite sitcom during the nineties was Home Improvement with comedian and actor Tim Allen. During the past year, my son and I would be very intentional about watching an episode a day. It was a time of pure entertainment. I found myself laughing out loud and I was able to forget the sorrow and difficulties that I was facing – at least for the twenty three minutes (one episode on DVD with no commercials) that my son and I enjoyed together as we watched each show. That more than anything, has taught me the value of entertainment. For me during that time, it was watching a humorous family show that I could relate to, laugh with, and regarding some episodes, cry with. For someone else, it might be immersing themselves in a good book that takes them far away from their present problems, at least for a little while. Or taking two hours to watch a movie that transports them to another place, allowing them to relax and recharge after a stressful day.

When I have my engineering hat on, I am seeking effective and efficient solutions to problems. But I have found that entertainment is an effective and efficient solution as well – to the problems brought about through our humanity. It may not fix the problems, but it helps them to be easier to endure while we work through them. I am thankful for entertainers in all forms of media for their part in helping with that.

[images courtesy of naypong, digitalart and Serge Bertasius at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

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