Your TV Life Map

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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:

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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.

Childhood reflections:

Animal companions, Friends

Show me Love, not War.

I invite and welcome your Comments, insights and stories!

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Story of the Week #1–Historical Rewrites : Where Were You When?

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Why is it those of us who were alive back then do still remember where we were when JFK was shot and when the Twin Towers came down, but not for many other major events or catastrophes?  A CNN program Friday night (Nov. 21, 2013), called “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” found that most people interviewed felt not just Kennedy’s life but their own, the country’s, and the world at large were significantly altered by the split second action of Oswald’s bullet striking down a US President.

What might have happened had Kennedy somehow avoided that fateful shot?  Perhaps–notables on the CNN program averred–the Vietnam war might have been shortened or forestalled, or Castro’s regime dismantled, or the Civil Rights movement might have been accelerated, perhaps (my conjecture) all or any of this changing the political atmosphere enough so that MLK or JFK’s own brother Bobby might have evaded their own untimely deaths.  Pure conjecture, surely.  Still, there is some evidence suggesting that major catastrophic events do have a contextual ripple effect.  Like a heavy planet that bends spacetime more so than a lighter one does, perhaps history has a force like gravity, all its own.

A Through the Wormhole TV episode called “Is There a Sixth Sense?” explores implications of a well known yet mysterious phenomenon whereby random number generating computers (RNG’s)–which have been around for decades–exhibit a non-random “spike” just before major cataclysmic events have occurred, famously including 4 hours BEFORE the Twin Towers were hit, and the recent Indian Ocean tsunami.  An organization called Global Consciousness Effect (GCE) based at Princeton has been studying this effect over the last seven years. So far they have concluded the effect is real, though they have not determined a cause.

The future can be thought of as a probability wave, where anything is possible but past and present conditions constrain the likelihoods of which future states will become activated in the reality stream of a given timeline. If we are all so interconnected by ripples in the fabric of time, or ‘heavy’ events, so that major shifts or glitches in the normal tendencies can affect the very fabric of all of our lives, the implications are staggering.

What if when we collectively support positive or constructive trends instead of feeding into negative ideological frenzies or collective fear or hatred, history itself–mirroring our own momentum or tendencies–to some degree conforms? For example, what happens when a possible catastrophe, like a looming terrorist threat or a potentially devastating hurricane, abates or is averted? Now whether any  of this conjecture has validity on the largest scale, perhaps at very least in our own lives, positive, constructive thinking such as Norman Vincent Peale and many others have advocated affects our own ‘local’ time ripples, anyway, which may have a wider effect from there?  Perhaps this lays the groundwork for more than just our own Better Endings!