You either love it or hate it - Reality TV. I'm not so obsessed with it that I watch ever show that debuts, but I am a faithful follower of the highest rated network reality shows. Although it gets a bad rap at times, and deserves it, this most recent season of Reality TV has shone some promise of redeeming qualities.
Last night, the Survivor season came to a close with Tom, the gray-haired fireman from New Jersey, as the million dollar winner. He played an honest game and had the record for most challenges won. What was interesting were the lessons learned from the cast. James, a steel mill worker from Alabama, said after his almost 30 days on Survivor, he realized how he'd taken his wife and children for granted. Ian, one of the final 3 survivors, willingly gave up his chance to be in the final two to mend a betrayed friendship with Tom. In the recap show, Ian said the integrity Tom showed was something he admired and was willing to sacrifice the money to gain Tom's friendship and respect back. Amazing, an outspoken Jersey fireman, with a little age on him, won the game being honest, and along the way some folks learned some valuable life lessons.
On another of my favorite reality shows, The Amazing Race, teams of two raced around the world to win a million dollars. This season's draw was the former Survivor couple, Rob and Amber, who ran the race in hopes to win their second million. The team that one, Uchenna and Joyce, was a married couple from Austin, Texas. They overcame some huge obstacles to win. Along the way, Joyce shaved her head to move them to the front of the race. During that emotional process, Uchenna encouraged her on how beautiful she was and admired her for her courage. On the next to the last leg of the race, this team came in last, requiring them to give up all their possessions and starting the final leg with no money. Amidst begging for money and being in last place, they endured to the end and became the winners of the million. During that last leg, Joyce commented that prior to the race, they had looked at options of ending their marriage. In interviews after the race, they said that the race had really sparked their love for each other again, and, had they won or lost the race, they were going to stick to their lifetime commitment together.
I always like to look for the good in what can sometimes always be perceived as bad. Some of these participants won a million, but, for a lot of them, the wisdom they gained is simply priceless.