How to Change the World

How to Change the World

Over a year ago I moved back to the Gulf Coast and at that time made the decision to delete television from my life. Unhooked from commercials and advertisements the freedom from bombarding marketing of one kind or another has been amazing. But I did want some way to watch movies, old television programs and documentaries so I opted to subscribe to Netflix.

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I enjoy a bit of mindless entertainment from time to time; however, tonight I watched a program that quite literally changed my life.

In searching the ‘recently added’ programs I found, I Am. It is a documentary film created by a movie director who was in a cycling accident and during his recovery decided to ask two important questions: 1) What is wrong with the world; 2) What is the answer?

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Many wise people were interviewed and scientific evidence was presented and demonstrated. My excitement grew as I watched. This movie answered many questions I’ve had over the past few months. I encourage interested folks to watch for themselves but here are a few key components.

First, it has been proven that our moods affect living systems around us. They showed how a person’s emotional energy impacted bacteria (living organisms) as measured by a change in electrical field. Simple organisms are affected by how we behave. I’ve been laughed at for hugging trees…of course that didn’t stop me…and now I know my love and appreciation for them is, on some level, felt. Can you imagine the possibilities? Studies done years ago about talking to your house plants and playing beautiful music helps them grow. The film showed yet another study that gave proof on how we can positively affect the world around us if we live with the intention to do so?

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Conversely, if we practice anger and hate think what we are doing to those around us…and the planet…all living systems. Learning to cultivate compassion and love has never been so important. Letting go of negative emotions and thoughts has never been so necessary.

It was also shown in the film how we are not really separate. We are all connected. Have you ever had someone in your life and you knew something was going on with them even though you hadn’t talked in weeks….months? You just knew? Or you dreamed about them emailing you and when you awaken there’s an email…after months of not hearing from them. Love connects us. We are not separated by miles or time.

Another interesting point made by the film is the fact that we are wired, via our DNA, to have compassion and be cooperative. We have the potential to be violent and aggressive; however, we are hard-wired to love and help one another. Not just humans are genetically programmed to be cooperative, but many animals are as well.

In one study scientists set up cameras on fields where a herd of red deer grazed. They wanted to find out which deer led the herd to watering holes. Over and over again they watched in fascination as, one-by-one, the deer would raise their heads and look toward a watering hole. When the number of deer reached 51% of the herd the entire herd, as a group, simply wandered to the water. Unspoken consensus. Democracy in action.

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Perhaps the most important idea I took away from the film was the fact that every act of kindness, compassion, good will we do is truly felt and therefore makes a positive difference. This is especially vital to understand as we live in a time of great unrest and fear as the ecosystems of our planet undergo intense changes due to climate change, where economic problems grow and tensions between citizens of all countries increase. Stepping away from conflict, practicing compassion and love for an animal, a place, a neighbor….it makes a difference!

Now is not the time to give up. It is the time to love boldly, act bravely through compassion and joy. This is how we change the world.

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