Talking Television and Values.

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The Unit Pushes Macro Values, Respects Micro

Posted by Travis R Grant on December 13, 2006

As I contemplate the many things that come to play in our lives, I am often struck by the difference between macro-level ideas and micro-level ideas. The macro plays into things involving the world and things larger than us. Macro things are often beyond most of our controls.

It is the micro-level that comes to play in most of our lives. The micro deals with how we interact with our neighbor, co-worker, and friends. When it comes to values, I am often focused on the micro-world, not the macro. This is because I believe that the micro will ultimately lead to a better macro.

I have been watching The Unit this season with some reservations about its message on values. It wasn’t until last night’s episode that I finally realized the macro verses micro aspects of values that this show portrays.

On the macro level, ask yourself this question, “What would you do to protect your country?” Would you kill another man in cold blood? Would you cheat on your spouse? Would you lie? The answers may be different for each individual reading this on each of these questions and the many others that The Unit asks. However, on the micro-level the answers are probably more likely the same.

In this episode, we see how the micro-level values come to play in Jonas’ life. He is at a family party for his father who earned the Silver Star Medal, and while there he finds out that his nephew is abusing his wife. He learns that his nephew thinks that it is okay because he has been in combat and his wife just doesn’t understand.

However, Jonas Blane (Dennis Haybert) explains to him through his father’s story as a black soldier in a biased world. Father Blane kept his cool when defending his son when a couple of white men wanted to kill the both of them. He taught his nephew a valuable micro-level lesson. No matter how bad you may have had it in life; you treat others, especially those you love, with respect.

Now do I agree with Jonas’ having sent his niece-in-law back home with a man who abuses her. No, I don’t. However, he did giver he specific instructions to leave him if he disrespects her, and to call the police if he beats her again. That was right and good.

This isn’t also to say that macro-level values aren’t important to me. Nor do I agree with many of the macro-value decisions that are made in this show. I think that we should act globally the same way that we act locally. I am just more willing to forgive to a certain extent on the macro-level infractions.

I will continue to watch The Unit. However, I am afraid that it might push me over the edge as it keeps pushing macro-level values.

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