I keep track of ideas for blog posts to write a later date.  The fun part is when I go back at look the idea, I often surprise myself with how they insightful they are.  But I don’t remember coming up with it!

This is one of those.

Passengers in a cab watch one of Brazil

Photo courtesy of National Geographic by John Stanmeyer

I read a National Geographic article about hot the birth rate in Brazil has lowered significantly in one generation (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/09/girl-power/gorney-text).  One of the theories is that the TV novelas (like soap operas) are influencing the women to have fewer children.

The article points to a variety of other reasons as well, but this one reason sparked something in me.

People should use public figures and movies to create social change – not laws.  Maybe we already do that – but the topics that are highlighted are changing society in the wrong way (i.e. entertainment magazine constantly highlighting volatile relationships of the rich and famous).  And I am not suggesting that censor laws be created that dictate what messages are produced – but rather each individual find a way to highlight the message they want to see repeated in society.

And politicians need to be advocates, gather weight and influence society – without imposing.  Imagination and understanding need to be the tools of the trade.  Not criticism and fear.  I don’t really understand or get wrapped up in US politics, but I do like Obama.  And I like him for these exact reasons – when he speaks, he exudes empathy and influence.  I recognize there are speech writers and attacks ads in his campaign, but at face value he is a captivating person who will change the world for the better.

There are lots of people out there who do exactly what I am talking about.  http://www.thedailylove.com and http://www.Ashoka.org would be two examples that I am drawn to of people/organizations who use all their genius to create positive momentum.

And once you start focusing on that kind of media, your view of the world starts to change.  So how can we make amazing futures, great role models, fulfilling paths to success the stuff we see in the supermarket checkout?  What if that was the mainstream news.  What if the politicians lauded each others accomplishments and worked to learn from each other.  What if the next hit reality show showed how successful marriages made it work?  Or how creative people have influenced changes in the system?  If it became the ‘must see’ show, book and movie – what would change in our society?