Watch this Documentary– Purposeful Living Idea 9 of 52

Here's my weekly suggestion for purposeful living - Take 43 minutes and 44 seconds and watch this documentary:  

For this week, I’m not going to post a possible action step.  Instead, I’m asking you to post and share – What are you doing to help end poverty in the United States?  What would you like to do more?  Any thoughts and ideas inspired by the film?

The Line Film Screening

This screening is being held in partnership with the Chicago office of World Vision.

Poverty in America —
It's not what you think.

The Line documents the stories of people across the country living at or below the poverty line. They have goals. They have children. They work hard. They are people like you and me. Across America, millions are struggling every day to make it above The Line.

The core purpose of World Vision in Chicago is to bring together passionate people who share a desire for serving with the poor. World Vision's programs, global reach, and opportunities to engage are available right here in Chicago. Today, World Vision works to serve and partner with more than 60,000 people each year from almost every Chicago neighborhood and across Chicago's suburban communities.

The film is 40 minutes long so there will be plenty of time for discussion (we might end before 9pm).

Transit/Parking - While we encourage the use of public transit (Red Line, #29, #62 and other buses are close), limited parking is available in the rear of the building on a first come first served basis. Bring $3 for your spot. No one will be in the lot to take it. You can pay at the ticket check-in table.

Watch Documentaries – Purposeful Living Idea 8 of 52

When it comes to being inspired to live life more purposefully, few things really help us get into complex issues the same way documentary films can.  Documentary films tell stories and show us images in ways that news, articles, and the interwebs cannot.  Documentaries connect us to other humans in ways that enable us to empathize with their journeys.  They can be even more inspiring when they present multiple viewpoints some of which we may not share or haven never considered.  Of course, not all documentaries are good.  Some are very one-sided but the best are unusual, persuasive, and present multiple viewpoints of the same issue. 

If you’ve had bad experiences with documentaries in the past, try to find one about a topic that interests you.  Alternatively, watch a documentary with a group of people and plan to have a discussion about the film afterward.  Perhaps you’ll enjoy the discussion more than the actual documentary.  I think that’s okay… the ends justify the means in this case.

I’ll post tomorrow about a chance to see a documentary with lots of personal stories.

Watch documentaries.  Better your life.  Change the world.

Love the “Other” – Purposeful Living Idea 7 of 52

“We operate with the assumption that giving people new ideas changes people.  It doesn’t.  Believing ideas is, in fact, a way of not having to change in any significant way.  Especially if you can argue about them, ideas become defenses. … You do not have to substantially change to think some new ideas.  You always have to change to love and forgive ordinary people.”  - Richard Rohr

I propose that if we want to change the world, the place to start isn’t with trying to convince others our ideas are right.  The place to start is within oneself and finding the courage to love and forgive others, especially those with differing ideas.  As we find the courage to love and forgive, perhaps we’ll stimulate others to do the same and the world will become a more loving, forgiving place.

My friend Steve was talking about something similar yesterday.  He said something along these lines: “When someone asks me a question about a divisive topic, I’ll ask them, ‘Can we still be friends even if we disagree about ethical issues?’ Depending on their answer I know how far our conversation will go.”

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since.  How good of friends am I to people who think totally different than I do – especially about ethical concerns?  Do I really love them?  Do I forgive them from my perspective even if they don’t seek forgiveness given their ethical differences?  Perhaps I could experience better life by being a better friend to others and receiving better friendships in return.  How would this work?

Love those with differing ideas.  Better your life.  Change the world.

Eat Less Meat! – Purposeful Living Idea 6 of 52

This week I was inspired by the Alliance for a Greener South Loop to consider eating less meat.  I was surprised to learn that there is no such think as ecologically sustainable meat.  All meat - including local, organic, and free-range - takes a large toll on the environment.  I’m going to join in with the “Meatless Mondays in May” campaign and replace some of the meat I eat with plant-based foods.  It’s not about being vegetarian or vegan, just about consuming less animals.  The more of us who eat less meat (in May and beyond), the bigger difference we can make for our planet.  I’m fairly certain my body will thank me for it too. 

If you’d like some more inspiration, here are some claims some major groups have made about the impact of eating less meat.

Al Gore’s Live Earth organization reports that “If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save: 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months and 70 million gallons of gas, enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare.”

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, “if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.”

One more from a major individual: “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” - Albert Einstein

Eat less meat.  Better your life.  Change the world. 

This Month at Overflow!

Here are two events we're hosting this month.  Hope you can attend to build community and to find ways to change the world.
Other events hosted in our building:
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