Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

There is an old children’s song that I think is due for a resurgence, ‘Be careful little eyes what you see’

The premise of the song was simple enough. It was a warning to be careful what we saw, listened to and touched. The idea being whatever we watched, listened to and made use of would shape the people we are and the decisions we make. This ‘home spun’ piece of advice is gaining more and more collaborating evidence.

One study I read indicated that the amount of sex scenes seen on network TV have doubled from 1998 to 2005. An American Academy of Pediatrics study said, “more than 75 percent of prime-time programs contain sexual content.” Studies indicate that the more teens watch sexual content on TV, the more likely they are to be involved in risky behavior. Even the FCC is having difficulty figuring out what is decent viewing since much of what is on TV now would have been considered pornography 30 years ago.

Be careful little eyes what you see.

Sex isn’t the only problem we face. TV has continued to become more and more violent. An article from ‘Kids Health.ORG’ stated this, ‘the average American child will witness 200,000 violent acts on television by age 18. Kids may become desensitized to violence and more aggressive. TV violence sometimes begs for imitation because violence is often promoted as a fun and effective way to get what you want.

Many violent acts are perpetrated by the “good guys,” whom kids have been taught to admire. Even though kids are taught by their parents that it’s not right to hit, television says it’s OK to bite, hit, or kick if you’re the good guy. This can lead to confusion when kids try to understand the difference between right and wrong. And the “bad guys” on TV aren’t always held responsible or punished for their actions.’

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, and the American Medical Association state all agree that there is an overwhelming causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children. The conclusion of the public health community, based on over 30 years of research, is that viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, particularly in children.

Be careful little eyes what you see.

Children in Jesus’ day didn’t have to worry about what they watched on TV. And yet in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus stops to say, ‘The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!’

Long before the problem of mass media, and TV filled with sex and violence was the question, what should we fill our lives with? We could fill our lives with positive things or in keeping with Jesus’ metaphor with light. Or we could filing our lives with negative things or as Jesus said with darkness.

The Sermon on the Mount is all about right behaviour. It is about acting right when it comes to charity, relationships, money and so much more. But right behaviour doesn’t spring out of nowhere. Right behaviour is a product of good character. It is a product of practicing and developing character that pours out when needed.
Jesus’ warning is a very good one. If we want light to pour out of our lives we need to make sure we are filling our lives with light. If we fill our lives with darkness than our lives will only be able to produce more darkness.

There is a story that is attributed to a Native American elder who was describing his internal conflict between right and wrong that I really like. It goes like this:

Inside of me there are two dogs.
The black dog is mean and tries to talk me into making the wrong choices.
The white dog is good and encourages me to make the right choices.
The black dog fights the white dog all day.
When asked by the friend which dog wins, the elder reflected for a moment and replied;
The one I feed the most.

Be careful little eyes what you see.

Be careful

5 thoughts on “Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

  1. So true. It scares me and leaves me feeling so helpless in regard to what my kids see and hear. I blogged recently about music these days
    Luckily, my kids are too young to be listening to pop music but I can only imagine that it will get worse unless there is a drastic movement to change. Not only TV and music but toys too! My daughter wants the Monster High doll because its popular and “other girls have them” but to me, they are awful. I’m not sure if I am overreacting but my gut instinct is to withhold it. Teaching goodness in the midst of all the muck is really challenging.

  2. Pingback: I’m Late | scottishmomus

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