So I’ve been thinking for a while now about how far we’ve fallen into the abyss of societal escapism. I mean, we’ve become a selfie society. It seems to be about “me, me, me.” And it’s been bothering me for a while. What could I do about it? I’m just one person. What can one person do?
Some time last year, I had a vision. It seemed like a great idea but I had no time to work on it and I had to fill my hours with work so I could attempt to pay my bills and feed my child. So I figured it was just another one of those pipe dreams, too far out of reach for me, and put it off. We all have those, right? Great ideas about making the world a little bit better than how we found it? Finding a way to connect people? Help the planet? Help somebody? We have the want but how do we put that into actionable steps and make it happen?
Then, I shared my idea with a client (now employer/magazine) and was given the go-ahead, so I put an ad on Facebook to my buds asking for video equipment if anyone wanted to donate to this cause. I got an awesome offer from a longtime friend and VOILA! I got my video camera for the project I wanted to start.
Then the magazine explains they got ahead of themselves and decided it wasn’t in the budget, so this became my baby. But I was confused. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to do this? How am I going to find the time to do this and not get paid? I worked 46-56 hours a week. I said a prayer. Then POOF! One of my clients dropped some hours due to their budget and I had the time. Plus, I had the camera, which some dear trusted friends explained was as Mike said, “It’s the universe calibrating destiny.” That’s the best thing I could have heard at that moment and I was off on a mission.
Don’t misunderstand. I was scared as hell. It’s so not me, going up to complete strangers and asking if I can interview them, asking them personal questions, digging into their private lives. Of course, they could say no, and some did. And they were given the option of skipping whatever questions they didn’t want to answer, which some did. And the first day I was to go out and do these interviews? Well, I nearly chickened out. The things that stopped me from giving in? Friends and family who believed me to be courageous, which I don’t recall ever being described as such, which gifted me with empowerment and confidence and a wee might of faith. That wasn’t all.
The fact I received that camera was God telling me that he had something for me to do. Be it scary, yes, I was full of fear and anxiety and then I thought of Henry Fonda. He got sick before every stage performance and he got up and got out there anyway. And he was bloody brilliant! So, he gave me power and belief. I will fear it and I will do it anyway. My friend donated this camera. I have to do it! There’s no turning back now.
I mean, what if? What if I am meant to do it and it turns out great and these people share their stories and it helps other people in the world? I will have made a difference, along with a ton of awesome people helping me get it out there, since without them, there’d be no stories.
Once I listened to my first interview, I have to say, my knees were knocking and my teeth were chattering and my voice was shaking but I don’t even think she noticed. She talked to me like we were good friends. And we related. And I nearly cried. And we laughed. And we shared. And I made a great new friend that day. After it was over, the camera was off and we kept talking, I realized about 90% of my fear was gone.
Now I knew what to expect. The second interview? Well, I don’t believe I was even 10% nervous about it. And the second one went even better. And another new friend.
Yes! This life is about connections. It’s about relating with people, helping them, listening to them, learning from them and yes, even teaching them. We all have gifts and maybe we don’t even realize that we each have something special to offer these people out in the world. We all have a story. We all have life lessons and we can share with each other and become better for it. And we can connect with these people. We can see ourselves in them.
I say it’s time to stop hiding. Put down the cell phone and the iPad, take off the bluetooth earpiece. And start talking with those around you. Connect. It’s what life is about. Think about it. We are all family here. We all are offspring from one family and we will go home to one family.
It’s not a huge contribution but I stepped outside my comfort zone and said, okay, I’ll try this. I’ll listen and record their stories and get them out there for those of you who are ready to connect and to listen and to build family. We are all one people. Don’t you think it’s time we start acting like it?
Here’s my first documentary in a series, which is segments of two interviews bound into one video, I finally had the chance to upload late last night. I hope you like it. Please feel free to comment, tell me your thoughts on the YouTube video or here or on my Facebook page. Like. Subscribe. Share. Help us grow into one overgrown family. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll have a chance to actually travel, go to other states, maybe even other countries. You can help shrink the planet, ’cause it is a small world after all.
That was the link. You can also find it by typing in meaningoflifeinitiative youtube – that’s what it’s called – Meaning of Life Initiative or “MOLI” (pronounced Molly).
Love y’all!! xoxo