Maybe it’s because I’m a Libra.
Maybe it’s because I love group learning, group dynamics, working cooperatively, Salon gatherings and creating effective community. Maybe it’s because I love film and using film for group learning and transformative purposes. Maybe it’s because I have so many friends in the SF Bay Area who teach yoga or lead workshops about finding balance.
Whatever the reason(s), I was deeply struck by a short award-winning film titled Balance that we watched today in my Masters course titled “Group Learning.”
Go ahead and watch it now and/or come back and watch it when you finish reading:
The class had many parts. Here is an over-simplification. Professor Daniel Wilson facilitated an in-depth discussion about three articles describing different group/community dynamics and discussing what worked and what did not work. Then we transitioned into…you guessed it…groups…where we discussed these articles and did small group presentations about the dynamics of certain groups. One of the foci of the presentations was “What factors contribute to effective ‘groupness’ and what factors take away from it?”
Many of the responses after this video related to how the film related to the readings we had, our cohort groups, and even the groups we formed to give the presentations. We discussed when a group of community starts to go “downhill” and lose it’s “group-ness.” After class we informally related the film to the fundamental drama and dilemma of humanity, how power and selfishness can corrupt, and even related the the film to the well-known parable of the difference between heaven and hell (having super long chopsticks and feeding each other rather than feeding ourselves!).
The video is on one hand quite haunting and on the other hand deeply inspirational.
I hope you like it!
**I should also add that a friend of our professor, a Japanese man who graduated from our program 20 years ago, visited for the day and took video and photos of our class! By the end of the class he had already created and edited a 5-minute I-Photo video of our the class we had just completed! He showed the the video–complete with music in the background–in the last few minutes of class and left us with our jaws dropped and some tears in our eyes!