In the story of Harry Potter, Dumbledore, the head master finds Harry spending his time sitting before the “Mirror of Erised.” The mirror shows a person’s greatest desire, which for Harry are his mother and father who were killed when he was a baby. Dumbledore advises Harry that people have wasted their lives in front of the mirror and tells him that the mirror provides “neither truth nor knowledge.”
I thought of this as I scrolled through the news. How much of what the media presents to me is actually important; how much provides me with information on which I will act? How much provides truth, knowledge or more importantly, leads to wisdom. What does the media teach me that is relevant?
Which entertainer is gay?
Which entertainer/politician/celebrity is getting divorced/dumped?
What the Queen of England or Kate Middleton wore to an event?
Results of sporting events?
An obscure but sensational tragedy?
Where are the great thinkers of our age? The Aristotles? The Socrates? Where are those whose power of thought can enrich our lives, and lead us in a new direction?
Maybe that’s our responsibility. Maybe you or I are supposed to be the force to enlighten others.
I wonder what would happen if everyone took time today to periodically examine what they are reading or watching and critically examine it. Maybe then they could use their observations to start an interesting conversation or write an interesting piece.