While probably a bit dramatic, this is one of those movies that will change you. Yes a documentary and we all know what those are like. We probably even judge a bit those who spend their time watching documentaries. My family found their way today to places like the movies and the houses of good friends while I chose to stay back and take a tiny, much needed nap. Candidly, I thought what better way to get me to the sleepy state than picking off one of those documentaries that had been in my Netflix queue for a while. I selected “I Am” by Tom Shadyac and just thought I would read the brief summary of the film. When I tried to go back after reading the summary to pick a different film, I accidentally clicked the title of the movie again. Tired, and intrigued I set forth with fate.
While I won’t lie and say I stayed awake for the entire film, and trust me this is my affliction not the film’s, the film is truly amazing. Amazeballs as the teens like to say. Striking. Impactful. Filled with love and hope. Tom Shadyac, director of “Ace Ventura”, “Bruce Almighty” and “The Nutty Professor”, set out to ask two (2) questions of very smart, courageous and world-impacting people: 1) What’s wrong with the world? and 2) What should we do about it? He ends up very clearly finding out what is right with it. People willing to take a tiny step, do a tiny act that at the time seem insignificant and meaningless and end up changing the world. He lands on an inspiring answer not unlike a fantastic article I read by Sam Polk earlier this week who in a self-professed way in this Op-Ed Piece titled “For the Love of Money” (thanks for forwarding John Trefethen) in the NY Times summarized how he went from living like one of the world’s worst humans to making his life mission about making our world a better place – their paraphrased answers: connect with humans and start small to make the change in the world you want to see.
We are all busy. We all want great things for our family. I hide behind these two things to keep from making changes I want to see in this world. I’m grateful for this movie. It will become mandatory watching material for my kids. No shock, but I’m going to take the movie’s advice. I am going to set out small and change my ways to make a difference in small ways. My hope is this leads me to encounter clearer roads to doing what I long to do, leave the world a little better than when I entered it. Don’t worry Mom, I realize I likely have already done some of this to an extent (especially in your eyes), just looking to broaden it a bit. Here’s a few for starters that quickly come to mind: 1) help out more at home and be more present and in the moment when I am here, 2) to that woman on Friday who asked me to buy her paper to help the homeless while I was rushing to the train to get to my family: I wish I had stopped. Listened. Who knows, maybe even shared a hot cup of tea together. The next time I’ll invite you to join me. I still may not choose to support the homeless in that way, but a warm cup of tea and an ear for a few minutes would have made both of our lives a bit better and 3) start more often from a place of love – I spend a lot of my life beating myself up for being 5 minutes late or working more than I should or not doing enough at home (admittedly it is hard to keep up with someone like Cindy – she is tough to match…) and instead just root back to starting from a place of love with everything. This will be hard as it is not alway my instinct. Sharing the way I feel on the inside when I greet people, but instead showing it on the outside with something as simple as a smile, who knows, maybe even a hug (I know Cindy, I know…”walk before you run Sutton.”) are my starting points.
I’ve digressed a bit (shocker!) but don’t let it distract you from my message. This movie was really great. I hope you will watch if you haven’t already. If you can do no more watch the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes, I assure you these 20 minutes alone will impact you in a great and positive way. Trust me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and what are some of the things in your world view (big or small) that you’d like to impact and change one day. I’m always looking to steal a great idea on this subject.