So last night I took a break from homework and watched the documentary “I Am” for the second time. It literally changed my perspective on the phrase “IAM” and gave me a better understanding of life, society, and our world as a whole. The film circled around two questions, “Whats wrong with the world?” and “What can we do about it?” No, not like recycling and global warming, but what is the world like as a society? The film brought up topics about our human spirit, our interactions with others, happiness, loneliness, the economy, our addiction to materialism, and also mentions the drive to war. The director, Tom Shadyac traveled with 4 others and interviewed philosophers, environmentalist, religious leaders, and scientists to get their opinions/beliefs and state facts about each of the topics.
The first thing that stood out to me was our addiction to materialism. They talked about money and our desire to want more and more and more only to find out that it doesn’t make us happy, it makes us greedy. The Hedonic Treadmill, a barrier to well being, is a continuous must-have-more cycle that we experience as we try to compete with others to have something better because we think it will also make us happier. When we buy things, we think it will make us happier. We start to feel happy, then get used to having it around, then we begin to take advantage of it and fall back to our normal happiness baseline. Thats exactly what Tom Shadyac mentioned as he was talking about his rise to “fame” and increase of income after directing some of his popular films. He bought all of these houses and then realized that he was no happier than before. It was proof that money doesn’t buy happiness. It just buys things to increase a temporary mood and not increase our overall well-being.
As the film progressed, it got deeper and deeper. I hate saying things are “deep” because not many people really understand what is considered a deep expression, but it was the only thing I could think of to describe this film. Like I stated before, this film opened my eyes completely to see the world in a more positive way. It made me realize that this world - our society - needs a change, an intervention, AN EPIPHANY. We need to stop competing with others. Tom Shadyac asks, “So is this just who we are? Are we basically greedy, violent, and aggressive people reeking havoc on the planet and on each other? What about love, compassion, kindness, empathy?” We express our hatred for society and how it is treating others, yet we don’t really do anything but shame it. Truth is, we are the society. We have the power to change it. We have the power to change our minds, our thoughts, our mindsets. We have the power to take action and stand up for what we believe in. So why doesn’t anyone do so? We need to strive for more compassion, love, generosity, and happiness rather than greed, materialism, and competition.
If you haven’t seen the documentary, click here. Everyone needs to watch it and maybe, just maybe, people can finally be at peace with themselves and the rest of the world. Love more. Keep smiling. Appreciate the little things.
"This treasure is beyond material, this treasure is the enhancement of your ability to feel the infinite, subtle energies that bring us a divine experience."
"GOAL: Do one thing for someone else today to make their day brighter."