So, for those of you who may have gone through all (18!) of my posts, you may have heard me mention a few times about how awesome I think a production company of Morgan Spurlock’s called Warrior Poets is. It’s true, I like ’em, and the reason why is that not only do they have a super cool name but also that many times, the things that come out of Warrior Poets leave me thinking about the bigger pictures in life. I really like trying to focus on things that are bigger than me, because I think too much about myself already, and sometimes it’s good to put the mirror away and instead turn around and look out a window.
I’ve already spoken about The Third Wave, and briefly about Failure Club which actually re-inspired me to start blogging (and thus writing) again, but one of the other shows that really knocked off my ridiculous socks (ok, I may have a…well, we won’t call it a “problem” with them, although an entire drawer dedicated to socks may be what I have…maybe) was a TV show called 30 days.
30 days is a TV series that sets out to show people what it’s like to experience something completely different from what they normally would be doing and committing to experience it for a full 30 days. This might sound vaguely interesting at this point, but here’s a list of the episodes from the 3 seasons and what topics they choose to tackle:
1-1 Minimum wage
1-3 Muslims and America
1-4 Straight Man in a Gay World
1-5 Off the Grid
1-6 Binge Drinking Mom
2-3 Atheist vs. Christian
2-4 New Age
2-5 Pro-life, Pro-choice
3-1 Working in a Coal Mine
3-2 Living in a Wheelchair
3-3 Animal Rights
3-4 Same Sex Parenting
3-5 Gun Nation
3-6 Life on an Indian Reservation
Many people like to believe that they have open minds. Yet, how open minded are you when you surround yourself with like minded people, such as your family or, and particularly if your family doesn’t accept or understand you, your friends? Part of the reason people group together with others of common interests is because then your beliefs are reinforced, and what you choose to believe as the truth is safe. One beautiful point that 30 Days often makes is that experiencing something different, being taken out of that safe bubble, makes people uncomfortable. It suddenly makes you the outsider, and maybe even the enemy. In that setting, it’s interesting to see how people act. Some are willing to reconsider their ideas with the new facts and view points offered, others are completely opposite and dogmatically parrot the same thing over and over, sometimes getting more and more upset when what they believe makes them look like a huge jerk when the stance they take hurts people and they aren’t surrounded by people who can agree with them.
I’m not one to revel in someone else’s misery, but I still can’t help but watch each episode with interest, and am fascinated by the inner struggle that it often spins people into, particularly when people are forced to face themselves and answer questions about why they believe what they do. I understand that people often do not want to change, and that sticking to their guns about topics can be important to their personal identity. However, if they can’t defend their views in every circumstance, maybe it’s because they don’t know what they’re talking about. If that’s the case, they really need to do some more research. Being able to have an intelligent conversation with someone of a different view without blowing it into an arguing match shows that you do know what you’re talking about, and this kind of knowledge about your topic in turn reinforces your beliefs.
Maybe enjoying poking into things that make me uncomfortable or that I only think I know something about makes me a bit crazy, but I like putting the things I believe under a microscope and trying to figure out if I’m right to believe them. Sometimes I wish that others would do the same, which is why the concept of 30 days thrills me. Now, not every episode is solid gold, but I’m content with the few that I felt were. I also love how 30 Days often has a light hearted approach to many of the topics it talks about. It makes it a bit more entertaining, without coming across as being particularly biased one way or another. Another cool thing about it is that Morgan Spurlock is willing to take some of these challenges on personally, and actually does the Minimum wage, Jail, Working in a coal mine and Life on an Indian reservation episodes himself. I really wish that they would make more of these.
So, if you are willing to take the challenge, try out 30 days by watching some of these:
Muslims and America
Straight man in a gay world