We are living in a society where we are used to taking the stage on social media, but how often do we let ourselves be audience members?
Being a deliberate observer can stimulate, provoke thought, and challenge behaviours in incredible ways.
I love documentaries. Good ones. A good documentary will allow you to see the world through different perspectives. It will teach you something you didn’t already know (we love personal growth)! Plus, documentaries make us more empathic: towards other humans, towards causes, and towards our planet. I love:
FED UP (Executive Producers Katie Couric and Laurie David): Proving that pizza isn’t a vegetable, this documentary will forever change the way you think about eating.
BLACK FISH Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite: Watch this before you book your next trip to Sea World or Marine Lane. This film will change the way you look at performance killer whales.
FOOD INC. Directed by Robert Kenner: An unflattering look inside America’s corporate controlled food industry.
Netflix has some great documentaries in their library that you can even access during your free trial. Or, for the real documentary aficionado, Doc Club hand picks the best non-fiction stories for you.
Maximize your impact: Screen you favourite doc at your local theatre. Through Tugg, you can organize your own personal screening and they’ll handle the logistics. It’s a great way to spread an impactful message and spend meaningful time with your friends.
TED’s mission is to spread ideas, through short, powerful talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design. Best of all, they’re free! If you’ve never had the pleasure of watching the TED Talks below, I highly recommend:
EVERYDAY LEADERSHIP (Drew Dudley): Drew’s TED Talk will inspire you to lead through what he calls “Lollipop Moments” in your everyday interactions.
HACKSCHOOLING MAKES ME HAPPY (Logan LaPlante): 13 year-old Logan LaPlante wants to be happy and healthy. In this TEDxTalk, he explains how hacking his education is helping him achieve this goal.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH OUR FOOD SYSTEM (Birke Baehr): We can learn a lot from 11 year-old Birke Baehr, who argues in favour of green and localized food production.
THE TRIBES WE LEAD (Seth Godin): Seth Godin argues the Internet has revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change.
Maximize your impact: Don’t forget to spread the ideas that resonate with you on social media! You can even create an account on the TED website to track your influence.
Okay, so this isn’t something you can watch on a screen — but we are firm believers that the best things are happening in real life. Spending time around other people is one of the best ways to reconnect with your humanity, and maybe even make new friends.
Maximize your impact: The best thing about being in the field is that you’re right there to make a difference where you can. If you see someone who needs help crossing the street, offer that help. Pick up litter. Hold the door open for someone with a heavy bag. Be present, be generous, and be for others.
When we’re open to learning and tapped in to our surroundings, we can really start to make a difference. Sometimes it pays to be an observer. Just make sure what you learn is put to good use, and never… unknow.