Aotearoa New Zealand is a second home to me - this is a gift, and a privilege, and I am so grateful for over two decades of relationship with beautiful Kiwi friends and family.
So my heart is sore for the pain that seems closer because I have loved ones nearby the events in Christchurch; but I'm also comforted because those same loved ones are exactly the kind of people who help heal and prevent further suffering.
ROMA is one of the greatest films ever made - a magnificent visual poem, centering an indigenous woman, and women generally, amidst the swirl of family and politics and power and service, repeatedly showing us, and asking us how to love.
GREEN BOOK is a well-intentioned, crisply crafted, well-acted story that can stir people to want to be kinder to each other; and its problem is not so much what it does, but what it doesn't do. It relegates the black gay marginalized character to the margin of its own story. It's not the Best Picture of the year.
So why did the conventional one win, and the masterpiece lose?
We’re delighted to announce the early schedule for the 2018 Movies & Meaning Experience, taking place April 26th-28th, at the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville, NC.
Now in its fourth year, Movies & Meaning is a three day conference, festival and community gathering, sharing better stories for better lives and a better world. It’s a life-changing experience of wisdom, inspiration, challenge and connection.
We’ll tell seven stories paired with seven conversations, and seven opportunities for positive change - featuring special guests in person including: Alice Walker - Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple. Mira Nair - Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe & BAFTA winning filmmaker. James McLeary - transformational leader and CEO of the Inside Circle Foundation. Brian McLaren - acclaimed author and activist. Gareth Higgins - Irish peace activist, writer & storyteller, and founder of Movies & Meaning.
Our friend Richard Rohr says that the best criticism of the bad always includes the practice of the better. I believe him.
That's probably why some folk tell me they think I go too easy on politics or religion or movies.
Good people taught me a long time ago that we don't need reminding of what's wrong as often as we may think. We already think about problems, suffering, and evil so much, that our perceptions are often distorted into believing everything's getting worse. What both the brain and the world need is a vision of hope rooted in real life.
Not that we shouldn't lament real pain—far from it! If we don't develop healthy ways of grieving loss, voicing anger, and meaningfully expressing sympathy and solidarity with those who suffer, we'll become misers or robots.
But Dr. King's famed speech of protest includes not only the clarification of the evils of racism, but also a dream—a vision for the better.
A vision, of course, of a world in which all of us sit together at the table of community, and lions lie down with lambs.
Along the path to that world, as John O'Donohue taught me, the duty of privilege is absolute integrity, which means our task as individuals and in community must include evaluating our own power, and serving from that place; and evaluating our own lack, and asking for help from that place.
In any case, my tribe won't defeat yours, nor yours mine, without bringing more pain to us all. The problem is not with belonging, but when we make our belonging dependent on causing someone else to suffer.