Welcome back! Guess what? I am still thinking about reality television. Instead of focusing on the negative, I wanted to focus on the positive. Yes, there is a positive side to reality television. It may be hidden under the excess of Hollywood type reality shows, but it does exist. Especially with the television show, The Little Couple.
I remember when I came across The Little Couple television show. It was through an ad during another TLC show about Gypsies and their crazy weddings. I thought it did not really seem to match what was being aired on the network. Sure, the network had other shows like Little People Big World but that show did not grab me as much as this one did. I tuned in just in time to see them adopt their first child, William and then their daughter Zoey. In just one episode, I smiled and laughed with them instead of laughing at them. I tried to catch up (I still cannot find the first couple of seasons) but it does not matter with this show. It could have been a show that exploited their lives, but it does not. This show actually follows and shows what it is like to be a little person in a world that is not and will never ben catered to them. These two people, Jen and Bill, are smart, positive and incredibly fun to watch.
Why am I babbling on about them? Other than promoting them (seriously watch the damn show) I wanted to show that not all reality television has to be negative or exploitative. Reality television does not have to be the bad side of humanity. It can display a lot of good to a world that tends to concentrate on the bad.
I read their book, “Life is Short (No Pun Intended)” and I came away with two important lessons. I am not sure if that was the point of this very interesting book, but I have always found lessons in weird places.
Lesson One: Count your Blessings
These two people have gone through more in their lives than most. Dr. Jen and Bill have gone through so much, but they are still smiling. They have every right to be pissed off at the world for having this happen to him. They were dealt a crappy hand in life. However, they do not let that get them down for long. Every time they let life get them down, they remember how much they have to live for. They have a family, friends, their kids and their future together.
I tend to get bogged down with my problems. It is the end of the world sometimes. After reading this book, I have come to realize that even though my life is not the best right now I have a lot to be thankful for. I have my family, friends, and my health. I tend to take all of those things for granted. I should be thankful that I have all of that keeping my life on track. We all get caught up in little dramas when there is a bigger picture. It will be ok. Life has these little pockets of sadness along the way to happiness.
Lesson Two: Do not let your Physical or Mental Limitations Effect your Future
Just reading the earlier chapters of their lives, there was a lot of strife. The massive amounts of surgeries, the cost and the pain of traveling for these surgeries. Being stuck in body casts or stuck in hospitals when you just want to play outside. Then you have the later chapters where they questioned if they would ever fit in with people their own age.
There was a particular chapter where Bill talked about his time at NYU and the night he wondered if he should commit suicide. He was being bullied and just not fitting into the NYU world. There was another passage in one of Jen’s chapters when she was applying to medical schools and was discriminated against by a few because she was a little person.
Bill obviously changed his mind and Jen did get into John Hopkins but for those moments, they doubted themselves and their physical limitations. I can completely relate to that. I constantly wonder if I am enough. Their stories told me that I am not weird for thinking that way. Even really impressive people, like these two can have doubts in their abilities.
What I learned from this was to constantly keep moving and keep trying. Not to let those inner doubts change how I feel about my abilities or myself. It is harder than it sounds, but I can do it. The show talks about this as well. They come up against a challenge and meet it head on. Something I need to do if I want to move on in my life.
I have seen these ideas in their show but to see it in print finally got it through my very thick skull. This type of reality television is what I think we all need to watch. It won’t happen, but I am hoping with all my might that more reality shows that are positive and educational show up on my screen someday.
Again, seriously. Watch The Little Couple and read their book “Life is Short (No Pun Intended). It is not only educational (I know…what a terrible word for some people) but inspiring and sweet. We all could use some of that in our lives.
So. There is a positive when it comes to reality television. Can you think of any more positive reality shows like The Little Couple? Tell me in the comment section below!
Until next week, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed!