Living or Living Vicariously?

I admit it. I got caught up in watching the TV show, Dancing with the Stars this season. What is it that makes the show so enticing for millions of viewers? Is it the professional dancers? The stars? Or the beautifully beaded and flowing costumes?

I believe the main reason for people tuning in each week has more to do with living vicariously through the dancers. Because if they can do it—maybe we can.

It would be wonderful to wear those gorgeous costumes—and fit into them! It would be a dream to take intricate steps at speed, or glide gracefully across the floor, caught up in the music and romance.

Maybe living vicariously through others is why other reality programs are so popular.

I’ve never watched The Amazing Race, a show in which teams of two people race around the world in competition with other teams. Contestants travel to and within multiple countries by plane, balloon, helicopter, truck, bicycle, taxicab, rental car, train, bus, boat, and by foot. They have opportunities to win prizes along the way, and the first pair across the finish line wins a grand prize.

Another show I don’t view is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. There must be people who are fascinated by these women, and wonder what it would be like to live with wealth.

I don’t see anything wrong with watching reality TV if it entertains or enlightens, as long as we don’t become so obsessed with watching it that we stop living ourselves.

What would happen if we only lived vicariously and stopped caring about trying new things, or setting out on our own adventures?

I’ve always been interested in martial arts. So some years ago, I signed up for adult classes. Not considered an athletic person, I wondered if I’d actually handle the regimen. I trained hard for three years, but eventually had to stop when life situations stepped in. But during that time I discovered that I could become physically strong and learn those skills. It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life.

What if I’d only sat on the couch and watched martial arts movies and exhibitions on TV? What if I never risked trying it?

I recently checked into adult martial classes in my area. I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I did the next best thing. I joined my husband’s gym so I could take cardio kick-boxing classes, which use many of the same skills.

Is there something you’d like to try? Why are you hesitating? If your reasons aren’t physical or financial—go for it!

I don’t want to just live vicariously through other people—I want to live!


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