Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Positive Message for Change

I'm a firm believer in an environmentally friendly, socially conscious, morally responsible, and minimally materialistic lifestyle. Of course, being human means I'm not perfect and don't always live in a way commensurate with my ideals and principles. I don't beat myself up for not meeting my lofty standards. I just mindfully recognize my shortcomings and strive to overcome them. I also try really hard to avoid forcefully imposing my principles on others, in spite of how much I disagree with their ideas or actions. We already have enough bellicose zealots running around spouting off their views and trying to out-shout, wear down, mudsling, or otherwise prevail via negativity and antagonism. There is no need for me to join their ranks.

I do however approve of using gentler, positive, and encouraging methods to nudge people into changing the ways for the better. There is already too much opposition and clashing in the world. Relying on criticism and focusing on negatives is a surefire way to make people dislike you and ignore your words. Not that using the stick is never called for, but the carrot is usually more effective.

That's why I really enjoyed The Story of Stuff. In my opinion, the 20-minute video clip did an excellent job of interrelating many important themes (environmentalism, social responsibility, ethics, conservation, the pitfalls of rampant consumerism, etc.). It didn't use any sensationalist or alarmist messages. The urgent topics were made non-threatening by using friendly animation rather than just spouting scary statistics or displaying shocking photos. Most importantly, it ended on an upbeat note by presenting a positive message for change.

If you've got 20 minutes to spare, I highly suggest watching the video: The Story of Stuff

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