There was a time when entertainment was something we planned for. I can remember clearly each of the vacations our family took while I was growing up. I can remember how we looked forward to them with anticipation and excitement.

Our first television was a 21-inch semi-color console. What I mean by that is the picture seemed crossed with Black and White and Color. I don’t remember for sure but it seems like we only received maybe 10 channels. This TV had a remote wired to it, but it rarely worked. Most of the time my brother or I had to change the channel or adjust the volume when the remote didn’t want to function; did I mention it happened a lot. I’m not bitter. I was in the fifth grade. It is my first memory of something that could be considered regular entertainment. Sorry Mr. Rogers, it was MTV which ended up being the gateway drug to ATARI. We weren’t allowed to turn on the tube until 6:30 when all our home work and the kitchen had been cleaned up after dinner.

The last few days I’ve been reflecting and doing a lot of now vs. then. When it comes to entertainment, we have more options now than ever and entertainment is now too numerous to even begin to list. Are we happier because of it? Of course not. While all of our entertainment options may give us pleasure, there is really not a sense of fulfillment that is a key component to achieving happiness.

I look all the times throughout the week when our daily experience is not always pleasant, but then I see a lot of really happy people. Why? Because we are doing something we love and achieving something that contributes to real happiness. We are investing time, love, into each other.

Matt Knisely

Matt Knisely is an Emmy Award–winning visual storyteller, creative director, and author who loves telling stories of the extraordinary. Make sure you check out his book Framing Faith, it helps connect the seemingly unconnected, see the beauty right in front of us, and revealing how to be present in the moment.

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