Making a Difference:
TV for Explorers
So it’s not just about me, or us, or ‘I’—it’s about what’s going out to the people I live in the community with.
Robert and Judith Marlowe have traveled the world in search of adventure. They’ve explored Africa, South America, China, and throughout the American Southwest. But the trip they look forward to most on a regular basis, though it’s a bit less global, is down the spiral staircase to their television room, where they seek out the programming on KET which “opens the heart.”
“We were so excited about the Jane Austen series,” said Judith. “We weren’t home on Sunday night to see Persuasion, but we taped it, and we couldn’t wait to get downstairs after our dinner to watch it.”
For many years until their retirement, the Marlowes, who are licensed counselors, practiced together. “It’s one thing to stimulate the mind, and it’s another thing to stimulate the heart,” said Bob. “We have become selective about what we expose our hearts to. The programs on KET open the heart.”
Also a Methodist minister with a doctorate in divinity, Bob turns to Proverbs to emphasize his point: “Guard your heart, for out of your heart, your wellness comes.”
Today’s multi-channel television environment offers a lot of programming choices, but they trust KET to offer programs that are worth sinking their teeth into, he says. “The principal reason we watch KET and PBS and donate to the cause is the programming—the variety and diversity of the programming that can be educational, inspirational, or informational. We’d rather be motivated by Jane Austen.”
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KET-produced programming has captured the Marlowes as well. Series such as Kentucky Life and Louisville Life, they note, showcase scenic Kentucky locales as well as the vocations and avocations of its people.
“Those are so interesting, and so appropriate to see—where we live, and the opportunities which exist in the state for vacations, and for learning,” said Judith.
Over the years, this enjoyment has translated to regular maintenance of a resource they value, says Bob.
“There’s no free lunch,” he says. “If it feeds your soul, you need to make a mutual response in terms of appreciation and gratitude. It’s part of our global stewardship. Part of drawing breath is practicing gratitude. If you’re into gratitude, you’re into appreciation—and that’s what makes you write the check.”
This idea of global stewardship compels the Marlowes to support KET’s mission even beyond what they themselves enjoy, says Judith.
“On a practical level, we do want to see the programming continue, but there’s a lot of programming on KET that we don’t watch because it is geared toward children, or it’s geared toward instruction of students. But those things are important to the community and to the civilization. So it’s not just about me, or us, or ‘I’—it’s about what’s going out to the people I live in the community with.”
Bob recently took his support beyond the financial and advocated for KET to the people in his e-mail address book, forwarding KET’s e-newsletter eViews to all 350 people on his list.
“I have gotten so many responses of appreciation and positive feedback,” he notes. “They say, ‘I didn’t know all of this fare was available.’ So in response I said, if you’re not donating to KET, why not?”