I accidentally left a Pluto TV stream running overnight (the Judge Judy channel, don't judge me). I don't know what my data cap is with Comcast Xfinity, but I'm probably at risk of hitting it this month. So now seems like a good time to try an experiment. For the remainder of November, I am not going to stream any video or audio for personal use.
With one exception: I am a huge fan of the Star Wars TV series Andor (you need to watch it whether or not you are a Star Wars fan), and I will be streaming that when new episodes are available on Wednesdays. Unfortunately there is no other way to watch it right now and I am too invested in it.
Aside from that single exception, I will be relying on physical media or digital files already on my computer, as well as old-fashioned over-the-air broadcast TV and radio.
Perhaps I will get a little extra reading and music practice in, as well. I just started Book 4 of the Wheel of Time series. And while my clarinet will be in the shop for a few weeks, I have my penny whistles, recorder, and Native American flute!
I was recently watching the film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and was struck by this observation:
Galadriel: Why the halfling?
Gandalf: I don't know. Saruman believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I have found it is the small things – everyday deeds of ordinary folk – that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love.
Imagine how different the world would be if more of us focused on the small things. Everyday deeds, simple acts of kindness and love. Less “do what makes you happy” and more “do what makes your neighbor happy”. Doing so out of genuine concern for others, not doing it for the Gram (for social media content).
[A]n elderly man and woman ... had been married for many decades. Because the wife was slowly losing her sight, she could no longer take care of herself the way she had done for so many years. Without being asked, the husband began to paint her fingernails for her.
“He knew that she could see her fingernails when she held them close to her eyes, at just the right angle, and they made her smile. He liked to see her happy, so he kept painting her nails for more than five years before she passed away.”
That is an example of the pure love of Christ. Sometimes the greatest love is not found in the dramatic scenes that poets and writers immortalize. Often, the greatest manifestations of love are the simple acts of kindness and caring we extend to those we meet along the path of life.
How do we keep at bay the gathering darkness we see in our world? Be kind. Serve. Love one another.