WASHINGTON D.C.—Our world has no shortage of problems. That is a statement that practically no one disagrees with. We need real solutions to real problems and we need these to be implemented by the people, not imposed by overlords from above. The Story of Change (http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-change/) offers a way to originate meaningful change. It would seem that this should be an idea whose time had come. But it isn’t somehow. Why?
These videos are excellent overviews of specific topics. They do a wonderful job of acquainting people, who may be largely ignorant of the issues, with the underlying science and the elementary mathematics of these problems, with the problems themselves, and, some of the videos, with possible solutions to the problems.
I was part of a screening of the first film in the series, The Story of Stuff, to a largely conservative audience. There were two showings. At the first showing, the film was introduced as a thoughtful, worthwhile look at some of the problems in the modern world and some ways to work collaboratively, within the system, to change the system and improve the lives of everyone.
This audience found the film interesting and hopeful. They were interested in the idea of seeking meaningful change and of making change happen to improve the world. There was some discussion that some of the terms used in the film were a little confrontational and that a more gentle approach might be more effective in getting the need for real change across.
The second showing began with an apology from the presenter for some of the content of the film. It was said to be somewhat confrontational and rather biased, but that it was hoped that the audience would find it interesting.
The reaction of this group was immediately and dramatically different. One parent, who was there with three small children took them hurriedly from the room after five minutes. She complained that they should not have to be exposed to such radical thinking, and that the presenter should have known better. Her husband stayed to the bitter end, with his arms folded, a scowl on his face the whole time. He stayed, in his words, to confirm his opinion that this socialist diatribe was as bad as he thought it was going to be, and to educate himself as to the leftist lies that were being spread by this group of radical lunatics. At least half of the audience ended up agreeing with this opinion. Not one person could be found by the end who was in favor of any direct action whatsoever, at least, not until most of the people had left the room. A very few stayed to ask what they might personally be able to do, but not until the voluble complainers had all left the building.
People can very easily be led into completely different points of view. So, it is very important that these films be introduced to audiences in the right way. Presented in the right context, these films can be an extremely important communication tool to get important ideas across. Presented in the wrong way, these films are just another misguided liberal attempt to deceive Americans and convince them to give away what is rightfully theirs.
As for the films themselves, if viewed with an open mind, they provide an excellent introduction to difficult topics and thorny problems. If it were up to me, every child of school age would be exposed to this film series at least once. It is my sincere belief that we cannot hope to pass on our world to children who do not understand how that world functions. They will not be good stewards if they do not see any need for stewardship. My own children are environmentally aware, and as responsible as circumstances permit.
We do need to get a handle on real problems this country, and the world, faces, and get ready to make some tough decisions that are going to change the economic and political landscape of this nation (and this planet) because if we do not, we face almost certain eventual extermination as a species. It really is that simple, that black and white. Which attitude will you choose to take?
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