My friend Barney of www.mountainperspective.wordpress.com turned me onto the documentary film by Tom Shadyac called simply “I AM.” If the name rings a bell, Shadyac made a fortune directing highly successful movies such as “Ace Ventura,” “Liar Liar,” “The Nutty Professor” and “Bruce Almighty.” Yet, this film is nothing like the others and was done after a life event changed his perspective. Shadyac had a terrible fall from a bicycle and suffered a lingering concussion that lasted for several years, not unlike what some football players have suffered from. Apparently, it is very debilitating and depressive and some football players have taken their life due to the suffering and depression.
Yet, after some time, Shadyac emerged from the pain and suffering and eventually recovered. He was left wanting more out of life. After seeing his own mortality, he wanted to know better answers to two principal questions.
– What is wrong with the world?
– What can we do to make it better?
With a film crew of four (his other movies had 400), he interviewed some of the best thinkers on the physical, mental, anthropological and spiritual meanings of life including: David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu (just watching Tutu in his animated style is worth the watch), Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, Marc Ian-Barasch, John Francis and Coleman Barks. The results are very profound. Their answers to these questions will make you think and may inspire you, make you feel encouraged as well as concerned, and make you think you can make a difference. I do not want to spoil the story, so I would encourage you to watch and let me know your reactions. The official site is www.iamthedoc.com.
I will leave with you with a quote from Shadyac going into the project. His success allowed him to buy many things, bigger and better. He had just moved into an expansive house and immediately felt this should make me happy, but it really doesn’t. He said, “Much to my surprise, the accumulation of wealth was a neutral phenomenon, neither good or bad, and certainly did not buy happiness.” The answer to this observation and his questions above are worth the watch. Let me know what you think. I look forward to your comments. Barney, please feel free to weigh in.