Last fall a student recommended the documentary I Am to me. Her exact words were something along the lines of, “This is you, this is what you teach, I think you would enjoy this…” Having watched the film a few times, I agree and can see why she made the connections between me and the film that she did. Although, I won’t spoil the whole film for you here, and instead will only encourage you to watch it (it is SO good!), I will highlight one of the experiments discussed in the film because it has been on my mind ever since I watched it.
At one point in the film an experiment takes place involving yogurt. As you may realize yogurt is “alive” (Yogurt! It’s Alive!), and if you didn’t realize it was “alive” I apologize for surprising you with that news and still encourage you to eat yogurt if you feel inclined (it is “alive” in a good way…I promise!…see video link above). Okay, back to the film…so, in an effort to demonstrate that we live in a world where everything is interconnected and that there is energy that exists between ourselves and everything in the world, they do a test where a person thinks about a relationship they have with another person, and the yogurt indicates if it picked up on any energy the person was sending out into the world about that relationship. Each time they completed the test the yogurt indicated activity. After watching the movie one day in class, it has sort of become “the thing” between some of the students and I to say, “I will be sure to send some good yogurt power your way” for job search experiences, tests, etc. So far, our test results have come back positive, which means that what the students have shared with me is that their interviews are going well, etc. So, naturally, I’m a believer in yogurt power. 🙂
I’ve also been thinking a lot about Plato’s Allegory of The Cave, which, and this is the part that I’ve been spending time with, describes how there are people living in a cave who only see the shadow’s on the wall and have created a whole world of beliefs for themselves based on those shadows. They have done so, without ever realizing that there is a world outside the cave that might have information that could disprove/build on/explain some of the beliefs they’ve created. Again, just like the yogurt power, discussing the power of the cave is something I’ve recently been doing with some of the students as we’ve been working together to learn about how organizations work (see Images of Organizations by Gareth Morgan to learn more about organizational theory, and what sparked our discussion). So, for example, if I believe that another person doesn’t have it together, won’t I only be looking for things that prove my hypothesis? In many ways, I think we all do this and can’t help it to some degree. In the field of student affairs (which is the field I work within) we talk about this concept when we discuss the importance of not putting people in boxes because once placed there it can be hard to get them out. I do believe though that we can try our hardest to see our cave, which not only involves reflecting on our experiences, but also actively listening to the world around us amongst other things.
So, how does the yogurt power connect to the cave (I promise that it does!)? Two posts ago, I shared a poem about a recent diagnosis my older sister received. She has breast cancer. Tomorrow she will have surgery, and it is weighing heavy on me. This morning, I spoke to her and she was so positive, and as I’ve reflected on the conversation, I can’t help but think about how much good yogurt power she is sending out to the world! Don’t hear me to say that she is operating in a cave where she can’t see that there is a whole other world outside of the cave, she can see fully what is going on (she was a nurse for many years). What she is doing though, is being so positive about all of it, which is so inspiring. So, tonight and all through the day tomorrow and for the entire next week (that is how long it will take to get the results back), I’m not only going to send prayers and thoughts to my sister…I am going to follow my older sister’s lead and send to her the best yogurt power I can muster up…feel free to join me.