Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Favorite Karmatube videos

Karmatube is my favorite inspirational video website (on an unrelated note, I help run it lol).  It started as a wish to create a repository for inspirational video on the web, along with providing actions that a person could do right now if they were motivated by what they saw.

 

Over the course of the last couple years, the video list has ballooned to well over 300, and I thought I'd share my top 10 all-time favorites:

 

10) The one that started the website: The Free Hugs of Juan Mann.  A guy starts hugging people in a town and makes the world smile.

 

9) Ever eaten at a restaurant with no bill?  Seva Cafe does just that, with the twist being that your meal was paid for by someone before you, and you can pay this act of kindness forward however you wish.

 

8) What about me?  This monk makes a compelling statement about a shift in internal perspective being a major cause of happiness - 'when you're happy, i'm happy'

 

7) How can investing in the monetarily poor be a better way to reduce poverty than donating?  Watch Jacqueline Novogratz explain

 

6) The True Devotee is a favorite song of Gandhi and describes an example of a selfless individual (click link to view video)

 

5) I'm a total sap for heart-warming videos, and this one definitely qualifies.  A young girl starts singing the national anthem... then freezes.  Watch her experience what a 20,000 person safety net feels like

 

4) You've seen Jacqueline Novogratz change poverty through capitalism, now watch how Carrotmob uses similar principles to make it rain

 

3) One of the classics - Story of Stuff is a visual masterpiece taking the audience through the life cycle of consumables

2) Its all in your mind, watch the inside and watch the outside

 

And finally, my all-time favorite Karmatube video

1) Team Hoyt is quite possibly the biggest reminder of caring for your family that I've ever seen

 

So while that's it for now, here's hoping there's many more years of wonderful videos to add to the repository.  On that note, how's about one for the road? ;)

 

Friday, April 3, 2009

Why individual change is our only hope

I just watched this super interesting talk on TED about the future of war.  The gentleman ended his talk by saying 'is it our machines that are are wired for war, or is it us?'  Being who I am, I started reflecting on how this is related to service work :)

 

We already know that the pace of our collective existence is quickening.  Computing power is doubling every year, and is slated to be 1 BILLION times more powerful than now in only 25 years.  Even the pace of our biological evolution is speeding up to 100 times historical levels!

 

What does this all mean???  I've heard everything from the end of aging to virtual reality existence to space colonization.  Here's the implicit meaning I take from it: leverage.  Each human being on average is continually able to do more, of anything, as time goes on.  Not only that, but the amount of the increase is constantly increasing.  We're getting faster at a faster rate.

 

Well, this is great for building bridges, connecting people, and acquiring knowledge, but what happens when the motive is destruction?  There will be a time, in the not so distant future, that a regular person will have in their power the ability to annihilate millions - for the cost of a big screen.  Everyone will have their own personal 'little red button,' for lack of a better term.  Regulation can step in to some extent, but look around - we have a hard enough time regulating NOW, much less when it will be ONE BILLION times harder.

 

If regulation won't work than what will?  To me, the answer is individual change.  I have to change.  That anger that wells up inside when someone cuts me off on the road?  That's gotta go.  That visceral reaction that occurs when my ego is bruised?  Need to ditch it.  Time to replace that with a  stronger connection to all the people that come into my life and a deeper understanding of why those feelings arise in the first place.  This grassroots shift is our only hope, this so-called 'shift of consciousness', to slowly lead to the conditions required to keep US from killing OURSELVES.  I can't force anyone else to do it, I can't regulate it.  I can only start on the path myself and see what happens...