Tag Archives: idea

Discrimination Comes in Many Forms

by Gail Mooney
February 20 2013

I think sometimes we kid ourselves when we don’t recognize that certain things we do or say are mild forms of discrimination.  There’s the occasional “soccer mom” comment that’s not intended to marginalize women or the references about “those people”.  Many times the worst offenders are the ones who aren’t even aware they do discriminate.

I’ve spent my life and career as a woman in a man’s business.  I’ve heard all the remarks that I care to hear and the bias that comes with it.  Things have certainly improved over the last 35 years but now I’m facing a different sort of discrimination and that is the prevalent disregard for someone who is “old”.

When people equate youth,  (defined by age) as someone who has new or fresh ideas and old as someone who is set in their ways and stagnant, that is a form of discrimination.  In America we have become obsessed with youth and looks to the point that we don’t value anyone over 40.  We not only don’t think this generation of aging baby boomers is relevant or has value, but we seem to be angry that they should have a right to things like social security or pensions or even a job. We want them just to go away and become invisible.  We are a culture that places importance on the “packaging and the fizz”.

The fact of the matter is that age really has nothing to do with wisdom at all.  Just because you get older doesn’t mean you necessarily get wiser.  And just because you’re younger doesn’t mean you’re someone with forward thinking ideas. I’ve met a lot of older people who aren’t wise at all and I’ve met people half my age that couldn’t come up with a fresh thought if their life depended on it.

Age isn’t a barometer for how you process ideas.  Look at people like Clint Eastwood – he did his best and most creative work after he turned 65.  (I’ll forgive him for the chair incident.)  I’d like to think that one of the best things that came out of this project that I did with my daughter was that we both had a much better understanding of who were as people.  I wasn’t just her “old” mom who didn’t know anything and she wasn’t just my “kid” who didn’t know anything.

So next time you find yourself equating age with how someone thinks – step back and recognize that subtle discrimination and ask yourself if you would  like to be on the receiving end of that?

Embrace the Wow

by Gail Mooney
June 26 2012

Chris Guillebeau wrote in his blog today “When I became an optimist after years of seeing the glass half-full, it was largely a practical choice. I just realized I was tired (literally) of putting my energy toward negative thoughts. It was draining and decapacitating. I vowed to put my energy toward positive thoughts, and ignore anything else as much as possible.” I can’t wait to meet Chris next week at his World Domination Summit in Portland, OR. In fact I can’t wait to meet all the people who attend this conference and think the same way Chris does.

Chris went on to say “Embrace the WOW. When someone does something interesting, appreciate it for what it is. Stop judging or discounting their achievements.” That sentence really resonated with me because there are days when I feel that no matter how much I have accomplished in my career and in my life, there are people who try to marginalize my achievements.

When I start to feel frustrated by people like that, I remind myself of what Ronni Kahn of Oz Harvest told me on a July day in Sydney, Australia “Don’t do something for the recognition – do it for the sake of doing.” Ronni was one of the many inspirational people my daughter Erin and I interviewed, on our trip around the world in the summer of 2010, during the making of our documentary, Opening Our Eyes.

I think back on all the travel logistics I needed to coordinate – our itinerary would have made one of the best travel agents panic – let alone figuring out how to do it using airline miles and hotel rewards. I also needed to think about the gear we would need to shoot both stills and video, that would fit into 2 backpacks. And I needed to make sure we had the necessary visas and vaccinations.

When we got back, I had over 5000 images and 150 hours of film to edit. Within two very long, bleak winter months in early 2011, I managed to lay down an initial rough cut of 3 hours of interviews. While I was doing the rough edit, I was also running a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter to get funds to pay for a professional editor. I knew that would ultimately make all the difference in the world as far as how the film was cut – and it did.

It will be a year, next month since we screened our first “sneak preview” at the State Theatre in Traverse City, MI. Since that time, we’ve been honored at film festivals receiving awards for Best Documentary, Best Humanitarian Documentary and Best Trailer. But that stuff is for the ego and while it was sweet to receive those awards, the biggest reward for me, was the “journey” itself. I don’t mean just the trip itself, but all that I learned along the way. That’s the part that’s hard to explain, especially to the people who seem to “judge and discount” the achievements of others.

Like Chris Guillebeau, I made a decision some years ago to put my energy toward positive thoughts, and ignore everything else as much as possible. I need to remind myself of that every day and walk away from the things and the people who don’t bring value to my life. Life’s too short for that. When I keep that in mind, I stay on purpose and that’s when the good stuff happens.

“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.” 

- John Ruskin

Moving Beyond the Film

by Gail Mooney
April 12 2012

At one of the film festivals I recently attended, I had a wonderful conversation with a young filmmaker.  I told him that if I had known that I would still be involved with this film, more than 2 years after I conceived of the idea – I probably never would have started it.  He laughed and even though he was probably 20 or 30 years younger than I, he spoke from a place of wisdom beyond his years – no doubt an old soul – at least in spirit. He told me “You never really “finish” a film – you just get to a point where you are ready to let go. “

Am I ready to let go?  I ask myself that question daily.  I should be screaming an emphatic “yes” for every logical and practical reason.  It has consumed me from the very start, in every way imaginable, and on one very real level, I can and need to “let go” and move on.  But on another, much deeper level – I’m not ready to move on because this “thing” that I started so long ago, is, and always has been, more than a film.  It has become a “shift” – a shift in my point of view, my perspective, beliefs, and values. In fact it as caused a “shift” in just about every area of my life.

This film was never meant to be something that I created for fame and fortune.  Any fool knows that making a documentary is hardly a way to make money. It has been a drain financially from the beginning.  As far as fame – well I’ve had my moments to shine and I’ve had some wins but I’ve had far more losses and rejections that have kept me humble and I’m grateful for the recognition when it comes.  So, why is it that I’m still not quite ready to let go?  Every time I begin to feel overwhelmed by frustration and want to close the door on this “thing”, I remind myself of why I started this folly.  I felt that there was an absence and longing in our culture for hope. I felt there was a need for a “shift” in attitude. I truly believe that this film and other films like it can make a difference by getting people to think.

Every time I have attended a screening of this film, I can see that for those 76 minutes that I have the attention of the audience – I really have them – I’ve touched them – I’ve gotten them to think. I’m usually buoyed by the audience’s reaction and remarks and I feel hopeful that “change” can happen – change for the betterment of the planet and mankind.  There is always one person who comes up to me or writes me and tells me that I’ve “moved” them in some way, and they thank me for making this movie.  How do I let go of something that has the power to move people?  I don’t think I can.

My goal all along has been to create a positive shift in attitude.  I can’t abandon that just when it’s starting to grow.  Instead, I am planning to make this website, much more than a website about the film.  My vision is that it will become a place where liked minded people can interact with one another and create a greater global shift.  I can’t be the lone voice, and I don’t think I have the heart to do that.  The virtual world can be a lonely world without interaction – too lonely for me. I thrive on connections and the strength that comes from them. I have a feeling that I’m not the only one that craves connectivity on some level. This website will grow slowly in that direction over the coming months.  I am working with a web guru to execute what I envision as far as making the website a “community”.  I suspect that building the web interface will be the easy part of the process.  Getting people to interact and share with one another will take more doing. I’ll need everyone’s help on that part.  That’s the only way it will work – and grow.

There have been some who have questioned the wisdom of my folly and others who’ve dismissed the idea entirely. There are some who tell me to move on – that the journey is over.  Literally speaking, the journey is over, in terms of the making of this movie but the journey was just the beginning as far as what this movie was meant to do.  I’m not ready to abandon that notion just yet.

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Karmic Connections

by Gail Mooney
April 5 2012

I’ve been using technology and social media a lot lately to get the word out about Opening Our EyesIn doing so I have started to reconnect with a lot of folks from my past.  I wrote a post recently on my professional blog, Journeys of a Hybrid, about using technology to reconnect with people from the past. I’ve never been one to actively seek out people from my past. I’ve never been to a high school reunion – and there have been quite a few.  But now, it’s a lot easier to find and be found by people.

What I’m finding out is that when I do reconnect with people I haven’t seen in many, years, I find that the ones I “clicked with” back then,I still click with, now.  Some have showed up at screenings and some at professional events – but each time we reconnected it was like resuming a conversation that had begun years ago – without missing a beat.

One old friend I reconnected with, said something to me that got my attention. We hadn’t seen each other in decades. He told me that he had wondered over the years, what had happened to me, but that somehow he knew that I was probably doing what it was that I was meant to do – and that I was living my life fully.  He said he remembered my “spirit.”  When he “found” me on Facebook  and heard about the movie, he was prompted to reconnect.

As much as it is fun to go down memory lane every now and then, I am finding that using social media to connect with “new” friends is a powerful tool to connect with “friends” who are kindred spirits.  I am in the process of working with a web designer to build this website into more than just my blog and information about the film.  My vision and long term goal is to use the website to build a “community” – a community of like minded people who are interested in “making a difference.”  I want to build a gathering place for people to interact with one another.  I want to take it beyond just my voice.  The film can set the stage for inspiration but the virtual “community” will give people a place to connect, share and learn from one another.

Changes on the website will take place slowly over the coming months – everything always seems to take longer than what I think it will take – but eventually it the site will morph into a place for people to interact with one another.  I think these days – it’s more interesting to use technology in an interactive way rather than just present a one-way conversation via a blog post.

It will only be successful if the community grows and shares.  I hope that everyone who reads this post will contribute to the dialog as it unfolds, and gets others to engage so that we can all create a shift – toward bringing about a world that’s less self centered.  The best part is that with the technology at hand these days and social media, we can connect our past “friends” with our future “friends” and make this world a better place together.

 

 

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Please Steal This Idea

by Gail Mooney
January 20 2012

I was catching up with a filmmaker friend yesterday and he told me that he was going to be working on a pro bono piece for a non-profit charity in his area.  I was delighted to hear that because it was just one small sign that maybe – just maybe this idea of “making a difference” is catching on.

To be honest, there may have been a time in my life where I would have been protective of my creative ideas to a fault – but not any more and certainly not in terms of the focus of this film.  What would be the point anyway?  First of all this film was meant to motivate others to “do something” – anything really that could make our world a better place.  And secondly – it really has no bearing on what I am doing – meaning whether or not I will succeed or fail if they do.  I realize that someone does not need to lose in order for me to win and vice versa.  In fact I’m of the mind that we are all more powerful when we partner and collaborate with one another toward the same end – especially when it comes to sustaining our planet.

It has amused me from time to time when I have seen people click the “unlike” or  “dislike” button on this blog or other stories that I have posted on my Facebook Fan Page. Why on earth would someone dislike a story about a 14-year-old girl’s efforts in tutoring others at her school?  I wonder sometimes why someone even wants to use their energy in such a negative way and if that in fact brings them pleasure – especially when it is affixed to something that is positive.  Quite honestly I don’t check analytics much because I try not to let others negativity or negative opinions of who I am or what I am doing – determine my worth. Most times it’s merely a reflection of who they are or what they are dealing with in their own life. And so I do my best to understand.

But the simple fact is I’m just another human being – no better or worse than anyone else. I’m no saint – that’s for sure. I’m a passionate person and that is sure to rub people the wrong way. In fact there are times when I wish I could take a vacation from myself.  I am only human, with my own frailties. While it may sometimes seem like I’m fearless and that everything always goes my way – I can assure you that there have been many sleepless nights where I lie awake playing out all kinds of scenarios in my head that are fraught with peril.

And so these days, I try to accept who I am, and be mindful of how I may affect some people and try to look for the beauty in others instead of the bad.  There have been plenty of times I may have chosen to see only the negative side of things and have hurt others in the process but that has only brought more pain in my own life. So if I come across as an obnoxious goody goody at times – it’s because I try to be more compassionate of my fellow man.  Do I always succeed? No, I am not perfect.  I try to learn from past mistakes and do better the next time.

So please steal this idea  – of seeing the good in people – and try to be a better person yourself. Think beyond yourself and your own inner circle of family and friends and go out and make a positive difference in someone else’s life.  Imagine if more of us thought like that?  And it just might bring more gratification in your own life  – than hitting the “dislike” button.

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Finding Your Bliss and Your Purpose

by Gail Mooney
December 22 2011

Last spring, my daughter and I set out to circle the globe on a 99-day journey, seeking people who were making a difference in the world.  A little more than a year later, we have completed a feature documentary about ordinary people on six continents who have not only had a positive impact on others, but they have had life changing experiences themselves.

This journey and the film were inspired by a

Maggie Doyne with her children at Kopila Valley Childrens Home, Nepal

young woman that my daughter had gone to high school with, Maggie Doyne,  At 19-years old, Maggie opted not to go straight off to college, but instead traveled on what was intended to be a gap year between high school and college.  Five years later, at the age of 24, she has built a home in Nepal for 35 orphaned children, where she now resides and had recently finished construction on a primary school for 250 children when we visited her last summer..

Maggie has caught the attention of quite a few high profile people who have helped her in her mission.  Last fall she appeared on the cover of the NY Times Magazine illustrating an article by Nicholas Kristof about DIY foreign aid.  She’s a remarkable young woman.  But what is often overlooked when one mentions Maggie’s accomplishments is that she herself, has changed her life’s path – before barely beginning.

Maggie is just one of eleven people that appear in our film, Opening Our Eyes.  As we traveled the world, my daughter and I quickly realized that all of these extraordinary people had one thing in common, beyond doing good for others.  They all had disrupted their own lives and had shifted course.  They had discovered their purpose and in the process, found their bliss.

Maggie is fortunate that she made this discovery while she was still young.  In a less dramatic way, I had my own awakening early in my career.  In the late 70’s, I had just finished studying photography at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California and I headed back East to pursue a career as a photojournalist. It was not the best of times to be starting out as a photojournalist, at least in terms of being able to make a decent living.  So, I took a bit of a detour and pursued commercial photography instead.  While making the rounds with my portfolio in NYC, I went to see legendary photographer Jay Maisel. Jay was known for his blunt demeanor, and when he looked at my perfectly presented photographic portfolio, he tossed it at me and told me it was garbage.  He asked me if I had anything else to show him.  I took out my dog-eared photos from my first world journey that I had taken before heading to Brooks. As he looked through my “snapshots” he asked me how old I was.  I replied that I was 25 years old.  He looked me straight in the eye and said, “You’re 25 and you’re already making compromises?” That was a turning point in my life and I never looked back from pursuing my passion.

I suppose Maggie and I are lucky in that we discovered our purpose at such a young age.  But in making this film I learned one important thing – it’s never too late to find your bliss.

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TEDx, Kindred Spirits and Spreading Good Ideas

by Gail Mooney
December 6 2011

I’ve had an amazing week. I’ve been in Sao Paulo, Brazil for the last few days to do a TEDx talk and to screen Opening Our Eyes. It has been a remarkable time, in many ways.

As I listened to the many speakers of the day, talking about what they were doing in their life and in turn affecting other people’s lives, I couldn’t help but feel the common bond amongst this group. They were all thinking beyond themselves and that in itself was not only energizing but gave me great hope for the future. Most of the speakers were young – and it brought me back to when I was their age, so full of hope and believing that I could change the world. I suppose I am in the minority of people of my generation, because I’ve managed to hold on to those beliefs. If I hadn’t, I never would have embarked on this journey that I started with my daughter, almost two years ago.

Yesterday evening I screened the film for many of the same people that had attended the TEDx conference. While I may be from a different generation and cultural background – we were kindred spirits in our beliefs, and our concern for others and the planet that we live on. It was the first time that I showed the film outside the United States and even though that was part of our dream – to take this film globally – I wasn’t quite sure how it would be received. But during the Q&A, I realized what I had probably known all along – that no matter how different our cultures may be in so many ways – we had the common bonds of what connects all humanity. We all need food and shelter and the obvious needs of life – but there is something more that all humans need – the need to love and be loved. The need to know that someone cares.

I think sometimes we forget that basic human desire, overcome by our drive to be successful – sometimes thinking that someone surely has to lose in order for us to win. Last night someone asked me “Has your life changed since making this film?” I’ve had half a dozen screenings in the US and I think this was the first time that I was asked this question. I didn’t have to think much to answer the question, and I said “yes – I have changed mostly in what I place importance on in my life. The little things that used to bother me a great deal, don’t seem to matter anymore in the big picture of life.”

I’ve been thinking about that a lot this morning and I think that even though my outlook has changed, I still basically remain the same person I have always been – meaning my fundamental character. I think what has really changed is that I’ve recognized the person who I have always been – and stopped living the dogma that others believe in.

The funny thing is, the people who are in my life now, tell me how young and energetic I look and how happy and content I appear. I think what they see is what I am feeling on the inside. I also think that because of that, I am attracting people who are meant to be in my life. I’m no longer concerned about people who I thought I wanted or needed in my life, but might not have felt the same way. I only wish that I had learned this a long time ago. But as many of the wonderful people who appear in our film told us “there is a time for everything.” Thank you to all the beautiful people in Sao Paulo who have made this a very special and memorable experience. Our hearts will remain connected even though the miles may separate us.

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Flashback

by Gail Mooney
October 26 2011

Yesterday as I was packing my gear for an upcoming three week trip to New Zealand, I had a major flashback to when I was getting ready for a 99-day trip around the world. My daughter, Erin and I had embarked on that journey about a year and a half ago.  But this time, I was going solo.

I looked at all the gear laid out on the dining room table, just as I did last year, wondering how I would fit it into one small backpack. I will strip it down of course, taking only the gear that I can manage by myself.  For the most part, I will be traveling solo this time. It got me thinking about the round-the-world trip that I took last year with Erin.

I’ve spent the better part of my life traveling the world and taking pictures. Most of those years, I was a solo act, on assignment for various magazines and corporations.  Last year, when Erin heard that I would be circling the globe, she wanted to come along. Initially, I hadn’t imagined the trip or the project as a collaborative effort – let alone with my daughter.  She had recently graduated from Northwestern University in Chicago and had been lucky enough to get a job. But Erin wanted to be part of this project and journey and so it became a combined effort – a mother-daughter team.

That ended up being the best part about the trip– sharing that experience with my daughter. We’ll have that bond for a lifetime.  And now, I couldn’t have imagined doing that journey any other way.

Since then, there have been countless hours/days/weeks/months that have gone into the post-production part of the film, leaving the “journey” a collection of water colored memories floating in my head. I’ve remained closely connected to the project because I’ve been very hands-on with the edit. So for me, those memories remain part of my daily psyche.  In that regard, the making of the film has been a bit bittersweet as I am reminded daily – that part of the journey is over.

We’ll always have those beautiful memories burned inside our heads. More importantly, we have a film that can be shared with others around the world, in the hopes that it will provoke thought and maybe even move people to action – to make a difference.

Please share this film.  That’s the only way it will happen.

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Meeting Jackson Browne – A Class Act

by Gail Mooney
October 16 2011

It wasn’t at all like I imagined it would be – it was so much better.

I met singer/songwriter Jackson Browne  last night,

Gail Mooney and Jackson Browne, Wellmont Theater, Montclair, NJ

after seeing his concert in Montclair, NJ. The show on its own was amazing. Jackson  did an acoustic set,  his 17 guitars lined up behind him, a keyboard and a solo chair, all perfectly positioned on stage. He doesn’t use a play list for  his acoustic shows – he simply picks out a guitar and plays the song that he associates with that particular instrument. It can get a bit rowdy with the audience shouting out titles for him to play, but Jackson is more free-form and picks up on the vibe of the audience. His performance last night was incredible – he sounded great and his audio mix was outstanding.

So, why am I writing about Jackson Browne and what does he have to do with Opening Our Eyes? Many of you know the answer to that question but for those who don’t, I’ll explain briefly. I’ve been a big fan of Jackson’s music for over 30 years. I also admire him for his social activism and his efforts (as well as his wife Dianna Cohen) in making a difference in the world. Jackson does countless benefit concerts for various causes and Dianna is founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a movement to get people away from “one use” plastic products – water bottles, shopping bags etc. So, both Jackson and Dianna personified what this film is about.

When I was struggling to find a title for the film, I was listening to Jackson’s music one day while on the treadmill. One of his songs, Alive in the World really resonated with me – it was almost like it had been written for the film, but at that point in time, I was far from even envisioning this project as a film – I was still in the planning stages of the trip. There’s a stanza in the song that goes:

“To open my eyes
And wake up alive in the world
To open my eyes
And finally arrive in the world”

….and I thought – “yeah, that’s it – Opening Our Eyes.”

I started manifesting in my mind that if Jackson became aware of our project, he would give his permission to use his song in our film. Long story short, this project has had many “angels” behind it and one very dear angel, Angel Burns – made this happen. Angel got Jackson and Dianna to watch the trailer of the film and he granted us permission to use it in the film. We can’t release it (yet) on DVD with his music, but we do have permission for community screenings and film festivals with the option to “re-negotiate in good faith” if the film gets picked up for distribution. If that’s not motivation to find distribution – what is?

In communicating with Jackson’s assistant, I mentioned that my husband and I had tickets to his upcoming show in New Jersey in October. I relayed to her that I would love to personally thank Jackson and hand him a copy of the finished film. She wrote back saying that she would set up AS (After Show) passes for us to pick up at Will Call.

That was a couple of months ago and I’ve been thinking about what I would say to Jackson, ever since. I wanted to make sure I thanked him of course and I wanted to tell him how meaningful it was for me to have his beautiful song as part of our film. I also wanted to tell him that Dianna had totally changed my thinking as to how I packaged the DVD’s. Rather than use a conventional “plastic” DVD case, I decided to package the DVD in simple cardboard slip jackets. And lastly, I wanted to give him a copy of a DVD I had made over ten years ago, The Delta Blues Musicians. It was basic and pretty crude because it was the first video piece that I had ever created, but I somehow knew that Jackson would appreciate. It was the stories of seven Mississippi bluesmen – all gone now but one.

So, back to last night. I was on such a high after Jackson’s performance. I was feeling so full – full of life – full of love – full of everything good. We had been told at Will Call when we picked up our passes, to gather at the front of the theater and that someone would escort us backstage to meet Jackson. I saw a crowd of people gathered there, and I figured that we would be shuffled through a “meet and greet” type of thing. Then one staff guy spotted my pass and looked at me and said “Gail?” When I responded with a “yes” (after a bit of a delay – I was totally surprised that Jackson would be expecting “me”) he told me “I’m John – c’mon.” So, John, Tom and I and one other couple headed up the back stairs to Jackson’s dressing room. John left us outside a door marked “Jackson Browne” and told us to wait a bit and that Jackson would come out in a minute.

After a few minutes, Jackson walked out the door. I hesitated, waiting until the other couple said their hellos and left, and then I introduced myself. He said, (in the nicest possible way) “so, I can’t wait to see the rest of the movie” and right on cue I handed him a copy of the DVD in the awesome packaging that digital artist Allan Davey  had created. Allan is another angel who has become part of our project and that in itself has made an extraordinary difference in how this film is being received. Jackson remarked on how beautiful the packaging design and artwork was – I thanked him and handed him another copy to give to Dianna. I told him that Dianna had totally changed my thinking in terms of the packaging and had influenced my decision  NOT to use plastic DVD cases. Jackson looked at me and pointed to his arm and said “goose bumps”.

There was one last thing I wanted to do and that was to give Jackson that old copy of my “blues” DVD. I told him that I should be embarrassed to give him something that was so basic and a bit crude – and that it was the first video that I ever created. I’ve come a long way since then – and so has technology. But I told him that I thought he would appreciate it because of the interviews that I had captured of all those old blues cats. I told Jackson that my interest in making that video, wasn’t so much about the music as it was about that time and that place in America that gave birth to that music. Once again, he rubbed his arm and said “goose bumps”. I know that Jackson will enjoy that video for what it is and for the stories that I captured. I told him that I had hours of interview footage of those old blues artists – and he thanked me and remarked about the importance of documenting those stories and recordings. I don’t know why I thought to give Jackson that DVD, but at that moment in time, it seemed liked all the dots became connected – like everything I’ve been doing over the last ten years was somehow related.

I apologize for such a long post, in a way I write this for myself – so that I will remember every detail. In all the anticipation that led up to last night – I thought it would feel like the end of a chapter. But instead, all day yesterday, I had this feeling that it was really just the beginning.

Thank you Jackson and thanks to every one of our angels and supporters. We can all do this together. We can make this world what we want it to be.

 

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Ten Things You Can Do To Make a Difference

by Gail Mooney
October 11 2011

I woke up in kind of a funk.  I watched the news and I instantly felt worse.  Everybody was pointing their finger at one another and they all needed to be right.

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, I had just come home after being out of the country for almost four months.  I had never felt better in my life, both in body and in spirit.  I had been following my heart and I had been on” purpose ” I had spent the entire past summer with people who were making our world a better place.  They were inspirational  and they all had one thing in common.  They were exactly where they wanted to be – in both body and soul.

Every now and I need to remind myself of the state of mind I was in after returning from that journey. I start thinking about all the ways that I can make a difference – even if it’s just a small act.  Its those small acts that

Maggie Doyne and Biscal, Kopila Valley Children's Home, Nepal

make big differences in people’s lives.

Robbin Moulds, a subject in our film said: “At 211 degrees water is hot.  At 212 it boils.  That’s a  one degree difference.  I say to people – what’s a one degree difference you can make?”

  • 1.  Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.  You’ll make them feel good – I guarantee.  Don’t put it off – you may not get the chance again.
  • 2.  Take someone else’s call.  Call waiting can be cruel sometimes and it makes it easy for people to avoid and ignore.  Would it be so horrible to have to listen to someone for a few minutes?  Ignoring someone is the worst thing you can possibly do.
  • 3.  Say something nice to someone  that you don’t really care for.  Surely you can find something nice to say.
  • 4.  Don’t always try to be right.  It’s a lonely path to be on.
  • 5.  Help a child with their homework or teach them one of your passions.
  • 6.  Read to someone – a child, an older person, someone who needs help with English.
  • 7.  Pick up a piece of litter that someone else has discarded.
  • 8. Write a note or a letter to someone.  I treasure every hand written note that I get in the mail these days.  They are rare meaningful gems.
  • 9.  Don’t judge someone by how they look.  Get past the clothes and adornments – the hair – the size and have a chat with someone you normally wouldn’t talk to if you judged them by their “cover.”
  • 10.  Make amends with someone you’ve had a falling out with. I try to patch things up if friendships get off track.  I treasure the relationships I have with people and I don’t take them for granted.

Live in the now and as Steve Jobs said:  Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

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