For this week’s Life Mapping activity relating to our weekly topic of Television Better Endings, I invite you to map a history of some of your favorite television programs for as far back as you can recall. Map those shows or series that have been most meaningful to you, perhaps those that you have personally identified with or that represent for you a chronology of your own development or of your generational heritage. This can include news events—like JFK’s assassination or the Twin Towers tragedy—as well as TV series or episodes, TV movies, and documentaries or special features.
You don’t need a long list of TV memories, just a representative sample.
After making your list, look it over to see if you find patterns evident in your list of favorite television programs. What does your list—or segments of it—say about you?
Leaving that question open, let me try this myself as an example, at least with a selective sampling from what would be my own TV Map. By the way, feel free to arrange these shows or memories in any format you like. You can just use a list, or make a pie chart, or clouds in a sky… any arrangement that feels meaningful for your reflections. In fact, I think I’ll cluster mine in a collage design with clipart icons representing the TV program types, rather than use a linear, simple chronology.
So, here’s my example:
My TV Map Collage reveals a progression of my interests from childhood to Now and shows how earlier interests have led to later career and personal preferences. Early programs (like Flipper, My Friend Flicka, Lassie and Rin Tin Tin) oriented me toward animal stories which I often shared with my best friend, Karen. (She is represented by the childhood friends image and the violin, as we learned violin together.) Then came JFK’s funeral, a significant generational marker event ‘grounding’ my childhood’s otherwise mainly imaginative focus. News stories form a thread throughout the mapping as historical ‘punctuation points’. But later came Star Trek series, travel and adventure stories, and more pet stories until college days, when Saturday Night Live and several sitcoms involving psychologists (Bob Newhart and later Frazier) and programs about family-like friendships, plus a documentary about Native American activism, held my attention while I was studying comparative literature, psychology, philosophy and anthropology. Since the Twin Towers tragedy and, in Colorado, the Columbine massacre, more recent TV preoccupations have included Physics and other science programs, lately the Big Bang Theory, and–as I begin to dream of retirement plans–Treehouse Masters.
Spirituality, instead of politics, is an underlying focus throughout the whole Map, associated with a search for truth and a sense of creative adventure and friendship/family/pet connections of unconditional love.
Animal companions, Friends
Show me Love, not War.
I invite and welcome your Comments, insights and stories!