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The Power of One

by Gail Mooney
September 13 2013

The journey is over and the memories have begun to fade.  But the legacy lives on in the film my daughter and I created, when we set out some 3 years ago seeking individuals who were making our world a better place. And indeed, we found many people – ordinary people who were doing extraordinary things. And every one of these people had one thing in common – they had found their purpose in helping others.  Buddhist monks at the Grand Palace, Bangkok, ThailandThe more they gave – the more they got back in return.  But none of them “gave” with the idea of getting something in return. It wasn’t about getting money, favors, recognition, or other ego related pursuits, it was about caring for their “fellow man”.

I think that the biggest reward for me in making this film, was sharing that experience with my daughter.  She was fortunate to have been born and raised in a beautiful and privileged part of the world and I wanted her to have a greater global perspective.  It’s almost impossible to “care” for your “fellow man” when if you don’t have an understanding of who they really are.  We all hear about conflict and our “differences” that seem to keep our world divided, but for many of us it’s too distant and outside our consciousness and the confines of our own daily reality.

The truth is the world seems like it’s gotten a whole lot smaller since I was my daughter’s age.  It’s amazing how technology has connected us all.  What’s even more amazing is the “reach” each one of us has. It’s not very difficult for “one person” to get their message out these days – globally – and instantaneously.  Think of the power in that.  I realized that first hand with this film and how it has connected people all over the world. I am grateful that I live in an age, when I am able to use my craft, to spread the message about the power each one of us has in making a positive difference in our world – the  “power of one”.

But it starts with each one of us, in our own communities and with the people we have relationships with.  We can all be a little more thoughtful of how we treat the people we know – that is if we can get outside our own egos. It may be as simple as stopping ourselves before we say something, or do something that could affect someone negatively and ask, “how would I feel if I was on the receiving end?” It’s the little things that we all do and say, that can affect someone, either positively or negatively and that in turn goes on to affect more people and it starts to ripple through “community” and beyond.

I think we all need a reminder from time to time that it serves no purpose to dismiss or treat anyone with disregard, anger or contempt. It only serves to make us bitter inside.  I have learned that lesson more than once in my life. The older I get, the more I realize that I’d rather harbor thoughts of love, kindness and forgiveness than hold onto negative ones.  Ultimately, life’s too short to focus on the negative.

We each have our own perspective and we each get to choose the lens we see “life” through. I choose a lens of love, respect and caring.  I haven’t always chosen that lens and no doubt there will be times in my life, going forward, when I will falter and start seeing life through the wrong lens.  Please, let me know when I do.

For those of you who have been asking when Opening Our Eyes will be available – it has been released on DVD and VOD.

Fear is What You Imagine

by Gail Mooney
July 23 2013
Gail at the Pyramids - 19 years old

Gail at the Pyramids – 19 years old

We had friends over this past weekend, and we started talking about technology and the impact it’s had on our career, photography and life in general.  I was talking about traveling and how much different it is now in regards to ease of communication and staying connected.

When I backpacked around the world, as a solo 19-year-old woman in the early 70’s, I pretty much left most communication with my family and friends behind.  In a year’s time, I probably only called home 3 times and it was a lengthy and expensive process, going to a call center and waiting until an operator could put your call through to the other side of the world.  And there wasn’t any Internet or email or cells phones and texting.  When I left home for that yearlong sabbatical, I was really going out on a limb as far as disconnecting from the world I knew.

I’m always asked, “Were you scared?”  I suppose I was afraid at times, when I thought about what I was doing and what could go wrong.  But most of the time, I was too much in awe of what I was experiencing.  I was very tuned in though, to my surroundings and I quickly developed a sixth sense about people, determining if they were good or bad.  Those instincts stay with me to this day and have managed to keep me safe in my travels.

I could not have imagined what the future would bring to my life in terms of technology.  The world we live in now is far different than it was some 40 years ago.  We are more aware – of other cultures, world politics and global news.  You would think that would help in bridging the gap of understanding between different cultures.  I think it has in many ways, but we have a long way to go.

Our fears keep most of us from “daring” to do something different, especially if our life seems to be working.  Usually, it takes a big change in our lives for us to muster up the courage to face the unknown.  And when we do venture outside our norm, we are almost always glad we did and wonder why we had hesitated for so long.

I’ve been lucky.  I had parents who encouraged me to take some risks.  When I was hesitant about doing something, my dad used to say to me “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” and when I couldn’t come up with any really horrible potential scenario, I’d take the plunge and face my fears.

I wonder, what’s in store for me now? The future hasn’t been written yet and the choices are mine to make.  Is it scary?  Only if I imagine it that way.  The story isn’t over yet.