Last updated on 8/30/2020
*Image: Ketut Subiyanto
Watch and enjoy this curated collection of videos that will leave you feeling empowered.
We Can All Be Allies
What it does it mean to be an Ally? Being an ally for social justice means being willing to act with and for others in pursuit of ending oppression and creating equality. This short video by Netflix illustrates the beauty and complexities of our diverse experiences and encourages us to “be curious, be empathetic, and be an ally.”
Make Sleep a Priority
Struggling to make time for sleep? Sleep scientist Matthew Walker warns us that not getting enough sleep can shorten our lives. Sleep science informs us that sleep lowers blood pressure, enhances creativity, boosts the immune system, regulates blood sugar, stabilizes mood, prevents cancer, and increases fertility. “Sleep or Die,” is an RSA video short that brings this important message to life using RSA’s classic animation.
The Truth Behind Emotional Eating
The School of Life explains one reason we overeat is because of emotional under-nourishment. Subconsciously, we use food as a stand-in for our true emotional needs. “Why We Eat Too Much” explains we will start eating less when we feel more connected, more understood, and more in touch with our feelings.
Once labeled, “The World’s Ugliest Woman,” Lizzie Velasquez demonstrates an intuitive understanding of the importance of developng a positive self-concept. She asks the question, “Who are you?” And more specifically, she asks, “What defines who you are as a person?” Is it your background? Your appearance? Physical impairments and limitations? The opinions and labels of others?
Recalling her experiences of bullying, ridicule, and ostracization, Velasquez proposes that the answer is none of the above, and shares how she took control of her life, set her own goals, and created her own definition of self.
Say “Yes” to Your Life
In this amazing video, “Awakening,” Mateusz M has paired a powerful message with video imagery to encourage us to set goals and act on them.
Finding or returning to ourselves involves the process of examining and coming to understand who we are. This type of exploration helps us to acknowledge our authentic values, desires, motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. It helps us to assert ourselves in healthy ways and design our lives around authentically fulfilling endeavors. Authenticity is achieved by being ourselves; not an imitation of who we think or have been told we should be.
Often, people who suddenly change careers are doing just that: acting upon the urge to live authentically. We can observe a wonderful example of this in the OWN Original Short, “Big Man Bakes.“ The video features Chip Brown, a man who left a career in medicine to start a bakery—a decision to follow his passion and live more authentically.
Be a Catalyst for Change
People who have the mindset for social change are not deterred by limitations, embracing the belief that small actions do matter.
“Change For a Dollar,” a short film written and directed by Sharon Wright, depicts these themes. The film chronicles the day of a (presumably) homeless man as he affects the lives of several people. He literally creates change in other people’s lives for little more than a dollar. This sends a powerful message that it doesn’t take much to become a catalyst for change. As you watch, consider your feelings/beliefs about any personal experiences you’ve had with the themes reflected in this film.
Develop Mindful Compassion
“Second Line,” a short film directed by Danny Glover, illustrates one man’s journey from mindless indifference to mindful compassion, and the ripple that occurred from his awareness.
As you view the film, try to recall your own moments of enlightenment. Recall the moments when you became conscious of a feeling of human connection, experienced a heightened sense of the shared human condition, or when you learned to see yourself in others.
Thrive While Being Alone
Solitude is the state of being alone. Aloneness is neither positive nor negative; it takes on the value we assign to it. Some people embrace it as a time to be in touch with themselves, while others have a hard time managing feelings of separation.
“How to Be Alone,” a spoken word poem by Tanya Davis, presents a case for embracing solitude. The monologue suggests that life doesn’t have to stop just because you are alone. Across multiple scenarios, she conveys the important message to continue living (versus biding time) and to treat ourselves well.