I like to watch.

How many of you remember the movie Being There with Peter Sellers? For some reason the scene where Shirley MacLaine attempts to seduce him popped into my brain recently. She desperately wants to connect with him. And I think you know what I mean when I say CONNECT!

When her kisses and caresses elicit no response from Chance (Sellers) she asks him what he “likes.” His reply is, “I like to watch.” After a short moment of delightful coyness, Shirley goes into quite an interesting display for his watching pleasure. Unfortunately, Chance is completely engrossed in the TV, which as it turns out is what he likes to watch.

There is one poignant shot when Shirley begins to howl with pleasure and Chance looks over as if suddenly remembering that she is in the room. When he sees that she is alright, albeit a bit tangled up in a blanket, he returns his attention to the television.

It seems to me that we have become a culture of voyeurs. We all like to “watch.” Life, in all its howling juicyness, surrounds every one of us all the time, and yet we do our best to push it aside. Watching feels much safer. But it sure is less fun.

I catch myself doing it all the time: being a spectator as my life goes by.

What areas of your life are you watching instead of participating? When do you feel safer staying in the stands rather than out on the field?

Pay attention. You might be surprised what you find.

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      2 Responses to “I like to watch.”

      1. Joe on January 4th, 2007 12:51 pm

        I feel the way you do, but having said that, if we dont participate and just watch from the sidelines and observe, are we missing out on something?
        I am brand new to blogging, you are the first person i am interacting with….I feel i like to watch too, but now i was led to the water its time to stick my face in and take a drink thanks…

      2. Edward Mills on January 4th, 2007 4:05 pm

        Samacitta: Yes, there definitely are benefits to being a watcher. You do gain insights and understanding that does not come from being in the game. But as I move from full-time observer to participant I find that I am truly enjoying the thrill of the game.

        Joe: I’m honored to be the first person that you’re interacting with in the blogoshpnere. And I’m glad I could “tempt” you to stick your face in the water. I hope it wasn’t too cold!

        ed

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