Saturday, April 23, 2011

"I Am" - The Documentary

I recently saw an enlightening interview with director Tom Shadyac about his new documentary "I Am", and his story really struck a chord with me. Like him, I've been examining my own life for purpose & meaning, and his story (an uplifting one about the possibilities for humanity) resonates with what I've been feeling for a while now. I feel that I've accumulated all the material possessions that I could want and then some, and discovered that it makes me no happier. I am reminded of the concept of "enough" in the book "Your Money Or Your Life" (an excellent read by the way), which is the idea that once you reach the point where your basic needs are met and you have a few luxuries, acquiring more "stuff" doesn't add to your happiness. After all, if having things and money truly brought people happiness, celebrities and hoarders would be the happiest people on earth, but we know that not to be true.

I don't think it's our purpose on this world to consume and indulge, yet somehow that seems to have become a big focus in our society. One merely has to look at the prevalence of advertising in our everyday lives, the fact that holidays have become excuses to go shopping, and how much we elevate celebrities to realize that our priorities are skewed. Most of us are so intent on appearing more successful than our fellow human beings, and satisfying our urges for physical and material gratification, that we often place the truly important things (our health, relationships, and spiritual growth) on the back burner. I am not completely innocent of these behaviors either, however I'm trying to progress and better myself.

I'm happy, though, to have (at a relatively young age) reached the realization that my ambition in life is not to accumulate all the material wealth that I possibly can, but to have just enough to be happy and secure. I want to expend my remaining energy being the best person that I am capable of being, physically & mentally, and to establish meaningful connections with people and my environment.

Below is the official trailer for "I Am". I am looking forward to seeing the movie, and will post my thoughts once I've done so.

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