Doing the Right Thing

by Gail Mooney
December 16 2011

I gave a TEDx talk in Sao Paulo, Brazil last week, which was an energizing experience on many levels. I also had the opportunity to screen the film for a non-US audience for the first time.  This has always been a very “global” project by the very nature that I’ts comprised of 11 stories on six continents. But it was the first time that I received a more “global” perspective and feedback on the film.

One young man from the audience asked a great question that had never been asked before in previous Q & A sessions.  He asked me if making this film had changed my life.  My answer was “yes, and it continues to change my life in many ways”.

Even though this was the first time anyone has asked me this question,

Maggie Doyne, Kopila Valley Children's Home, Nepal

I think about how my life has changed all the time.  Perhaps the biggest change was for me to really recognize what’s important and what’s not. I’ve come to realize that the thing that’s most important to me is for me to live my life doing the right thing.  By that I mean, recognizing the fact that while it may seem to get me a little further ahead, by beating out the “other guy” or their agendas – it really doesn’t.  Just because someone else “loses” doesn’t necessarily mean that I win.

When I returned to the US after being away for almost four months, I was struck by how we were behaving as a society.  It seemed to me like we were spending more time and energy focusing on how to stop “the other guy” than we were on focusing on what we wanted and what we can do. So for me, after spending four months with people who were living their lives according to their own doctrine and happy because of it, I decided to shift my way of thinking. I’m now much more focused on what I can achieve while doing the right thing without the detriment to others.  Perhaps if we all thought like that, everybody would win. Nowadays it seems like there are too many losers in our collective society.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since Erin and I returned from our round the world adventure, and I am very aware and grateful of how the making of this film has changed my life. I’d like to think that it has made me a better person.

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