If there’s one thing that I truly hate about children’s television programs (North American ones in particular) it is this: the bizarre need to shoehorn a moral lesson for the child to learn into every episode.
Anyone who grew-up in Canada or the United States during the last twenty-five years knows what I’m talking about: the inevitable “Dear Princess Celestia” epilogue, which tells you about the importance of recycling pop bottles, not discriminating against minorities, and respecting your elders, because, of course, “knowing is half the battle!”
To me, this has always seemed both condescending and inane. Condescending because it supposes that children are too stupid to figure out moral lessons embedded in stories, inane because it supposes that moral instruction should be done primarily by means of watching television.
But it also caused me to wonder: what if someone tried doing this in real life? What if someone sat down at the end of each day, and tried to work out a moral lesson from their experiences? Would that person emerge from such a practice as a better, more moral human being? Or would they in fact come to the conclusion that there is no moral order to the universe, and take to stealing cars and robbing convenience stores?
I don’t know, but I intend to find out. For the next thirty days it is my intention to parse through my daily experiences, searching for any moral lesson that I can find–no matter how stupid, contradictory, or well-hidden.