It has been said before, but according to a panel of philosophical and spiritual leaders, love is indeed all you need. In the 2010 documentary “I Am,” comedy director Tom Shadyac, best known for directing a lineage of Jim Carrey farces, ponders what is wrong with society, and what we as people can do to improve it.
After speaking to a plethora of highly regarded religious leaders and scholars, emphasis was placed on the importance of togetherness; both with one another, and with the world we inhabit. It was stated that we as a species must coexist with all different variations of living creatures in the world’s ecosystem, yet historically have taken more than we need from the Earth, much like a cancer.
Experiments were done to prove the importance positive interactions have on one’s health, and how “paying it forward” – both with other people and with the world we live in – can successfully contribute to a better tomorrow.
To the uninformed passerby, it may seem odd to witness topics of such profound political importance being analyzed by the director of “Liar Liar and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”, but his interest in doing so is not merely by chance.
While Shadyac mentions in “I Am” that he was never satisfied emotionally by financial success, it wasn’t until he suffered a severe mountain biking injury that he woke up.
He suffered Post Concussion symptoms for almost a year. Many patients with similar symptoms develop suicidal thoughts, and when Shadyac welcomed death into his life, his vision became clear: the life he lived and all of his success were based on a lie. That all gratuitous wealth of western culture was creating busy drones who would rather work than really live, because society has trained them to keep their eyes on the prize.
He is adamant that if human beings focused more on improving relationships, and championing togetherness rather than superficial gains, the world would be a better place.
Tom Shadyac had an epiphany that improved his mental health and in turn his physical health, so he decided to inform the world of his new discovery, as well as build on his theory with knowledgeable scholars.
People have epiphanies every day, but what makes Tom Shadyac’s so different is that he has the means to support his message financially. He chose to allocate his wealth to the exploration of wisdom in hopes of adding to the pantheon of philosophy and better the world.
Many people complain of movie stars and Hollywood elite being overly pretentious or snobby, but the fact is, nobody cares if Joe Schmoe has created a petition to enlighten people about global warming, but they do care if Lindsay Lohan bought a new purse.
It is only responsible for a person to use their wealth and celebrity to educate and improve the world, because as Tom Shadyac mentioned, their success and importance are based on lies. Like “I Am” teaches, even the smallest gesture can snowball into something much more significant.