February 6th, 2010 19:01 EST
Getting a Life
During my first year of college, I had a professor who had a remarkable impact on the way I view each day. It wasn`t necessarily what subject he taught -art and sculpture- but how he taught about it.
One particularly motivating lecture on Renaissance art and architecture, he stopped and devoted about twenty minutes to Leonardo of Vinci. With so little known about his upbringing, many would claim this to be the perfect situation for someone to sit and complain about what circumstances had given him, and how life was unfair.
Instead, as we all know, Leonardo da Vinci is one of the greatest artists known to mankind. From this point, he turned to each of the students. "How many Leonardo da Vinci`s," he asked us, "sit around us each day, and never realize their potential because of World of Warcraft?"
That question stuck with me for the rest of the day. Once I came home that day from class, it amazed me that, while I didn`t play any of the multi-player online games, I was spending quite a bit of time on things that, while cool, didn`t really do anything.
Before I continue, I`m not saying that we need to abolish all computer/video games along with every TV set, but the statistics on how much time we spend connected to a game or show and nothing else can be pretty scary. On average each day, ninety nine percent of Americans have their TV on almost seven hours.
Imagine what could be done with that seven hours. Or even cut that in half, and use those three and a half hours a day. Would there be more great art introduced to the world? More great books of literature? How many more Olympic athletes would emerge?
This was reiterated to me when my little brother was plugged into a game for more than five hours without even moving. In a sarcastic tone, my sister came and told him to get a life. By all medical reasons, my brother was alive, but what was he doing? At the end of the day, what had he done?
Disney and Pixar have also introduced this in the movie Wall-E. the auto-pilot, in attempting to keep the captain of the Axiom from returning the space cruiser to Earth for recolonization, mentioned that in doing so, he ensures the survival of the human race. The captain bursts out a response of "I don`t want to survive. I want to live!"
From then on, so much changed for me. All the things I want to accomplish are within reach.