I Am

What was the last movie that changed your thinking? Was it Fight Club like @sarahdateechur or maybe it was the Matrix? Perhaps you are wondering if we are a dream within a dream within a dream? The movie that changed my thinking came from a recommendation on Twitter. @Sisyphus and I were having a conversation about socialism. (not getting political here) Someone in the feed mentioned to me to see the movie I Am. I did. Now my mind is trying to sort it all out. Here is a quick summary of the movie.

“I AM is an utterly engaging and entertaining non-fiction film that poses two practical and provocative questions: what’s wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better?   The filmmaker behind the inquiry is Tom Shadyac, one of Hollywood’s leading comedy practitioners and the creative force behind such blockbusters as “Ace Ventura,” “Liar Liar,” “The Nutty Professor,” and “Bruce Almighty.”   However, in I AM, Shadyac steps in front of the camera to recount what happened to him after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for good. Though he ultimately recovered, he emerged with a new sense of purpose, determined to share his own awakening to his prior life of excess and greed, and to investigate how he as an individual, and we as a race, could improve the way we live and walk in the world.

Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a small crew to film his adventures, Shadyac set out on a twenty-first century quest for enlightenment.  Meeting with a variety of thinkers and doers–remarkable men and women from the worlds of science, philosophy, academia, and faith–including such luminaries as David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks, and Marc Ian Barasch –  Shadyac appears on-screen as character, commentator, guide, and even, at times, guinea pig. An irrepressible “Everyman” who asks tough questions, but offers no easy answers, he takes the audience to places it has never been before, and presents even familiar phenomena in completely new and different ways.  The result is a fresh, energetic, and life-affirming film that challenges our preconceptions about human behavior while simultaneously celebrating the indomitable human spirit.” http://www.iamthedoc.com/thefilm/

One great point I walked away is that the heart is more important in leading us through life than the brain. Compassion and emotion affect our bodies and may affect outside of our body. He illustrates the point by showing how his emotions affect a bowl of yogurt. It is no secret that stress and worry can cause disease and physical pain. Can our heart and emotions play a part in the physical world?

The greatest part of the movie is that cooperation not competition is how nature functions. Mr. Shadyac illustrates this by showing insects, birds, deer, and fish all working together. This is where the mind bomb was dropped. He stated that Darwin only talked about survival of the fittest twice, but wrote about love 95 times in the book The Descent of Man. That is a pretty significant difference.

I think about my privilege a lot. Would I be able to get ahead in life if I did not have the love and support of my family growing up? Would I have been able to go to college? The cooperation it took from my family and community in order for me to succeed is miraculous. I firmly believe we need to work together in order to achieve. This can be at the micro level of a household or the macro level of a country. Our country thrives on competition yet cooperation is the only thing that enables us to live quality lives. Corporations have grown so big that they don’t care about the individual at all. Have school systems done the same? Have we put our students into a competition ring where we measure them against each other? Have school systems grown so big that we can’t change them so we keep ignoring the individuals that need the most help?

The movie makes me question how connected to each other are we? I am not talking about social media connections or even family connections. I am talking broader connections. Connections outside your church, mosque, synagogue, yoga studio or any other physical space where we connect to other people. How much does my action in Trenton, New Jersey affect someone in Tokyo? What influence do I have on people in my own town? Think about this fact, “The reality is that the odds of breathing a single molecule of air that once passed through the lungs of Jesus, even in a single one of your breaths, is near certainty. The odds of encountering even one of those molecules within your entire lifetime is even more certain.” http://goo.gl/lkqHvP What does that mean for us? Nothing it was just a cool fact.

The movie leaves me feeling scared about the fate of man (and woman) kind. It also leads me to believe that helping other people has never been more needed in the history of the human race than it is right now. Watch the movie and Tweet or Vox me with your thoughts!

Q1: What does education do to support the idea that we are all connected in one way shape or form? #slowchatpe

Q2: How does your school make sure that your staff stays connected as people and not just coworkers? #slowchatpe

Q3: What do you do in your class to make them realize your class depends on cooperation in order for everyone to succeed? #slowchatpe

Q4: Do you feel that American life is more about cooperation or competition? #slowchatpe

Q5: Who in your PLN is your connector? The one who knows people. #slowchatpe


1 thought on “I Am

  1. Rebecca Schweitzer

    I think that’s the best blog u ever wrote.. It touches the depth of humanity.. Great job:)

    Sent from my iPhone Have a great day! Rebecca Schweitzer




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