As a child, I was obsessed with the news. When I would come home after school, I’d sit in front of the television and flip through the channels so that I could watch the news programming at 4:30, 5:00, 5:30, and 6:00pm. If on the rare occasion my parents let me stay up late on a school night, I’d also enjoy the 9:00 or 10:00 program. My dream job was to be a Weatherwoman. I spent nearly the entirety of the news programming drawing my television ready outfits in my sketchbook. By the time I was maybe 13, I grew out of this phase, but I would still try to catch my favorite news program at 5:30pm with my mom whenever I could.
When I neared the end of high school and entered college, my family and I less frequently made it to our church services. This opening on Sunday mornings allowed us to watch CBS Sunday Morning Show — an hour and a half slow-paced news program that focuses on covering the performing arts and other unique and happier news angles. My mom has a special attachment to this show as she grew up with this program in her house. As we sat in our pajamas, we joked that perhaps we had found our new type of church. The show brought us a sense of peace, community, and shared values, something we sought out in our spiritual lives.
When I left to study abroad in Denmark this past January, I managed quite well without getting too homesick, but I did miss my local news anchors a bit. There were a few occasions where I was tired after a long bike ride home from Danish school, and nothing sounded nicer than cozying up on my parents’ couch with a cup of tea and the news. So when the coronavirus pandemic suddenly sent me home in March, I thought at least I could enjoy some news back home.
The first Sunday after I had arrived back home, I looked forward to watching the program despite being in a two week quarantine in my childhood bedroom. As the show began, my mom and I quickly realized it was a rerun. With the frenzy of the nation locking down, they hadn’t yet figured out a way to air a live socially distant safe program.
My mom stated, “Wow…The world must really be ending if this show isn’t running.”
Luckily, the next week the show resumed, and the world is still spinning six months later. As I’ve tried to settle into my senior year of college amidst a time of great uncertainty, I’ve found a sense of centering and peace with the CBS Sunday Morning Show. While everything in my life feels overwhelming, this hour and a half television show keeps me grounded. I find solace in the calming background music, segments on kind-hearted people adopting puppies, healthcare workers being recognized for their heroic work, snippets of nature scenery, honors to notable people who have recently passed away, and historical insight on modern day creations. This coupled with the nostalgia of my childhood and family brings me a sense of immense joy and inspiration to start my week, something that I used to seek out during my Sunday church services.
My religious identity is in flux, as I’m not totally sure what religion or spirituality fully encompasses my values and morals. I believe that we must honor our Earth and protect her at all costs, celebrate the good things in life, provide acts of service and kindness to those around us, seek to better understand our community members, and be aware and educated on societal issues and strive for equitable social change. I find this represented well in my favorite television program.
Is there something in your life that you have a religious relationship with that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with religion? Where do you see your values being represented?