The Top 20 Social Change Documentaries of 2012

top 20


2012 was another big year for break-out films in the social change genre. With most of the bases covered for all of the major problems we’re facing, more and more films this year focused on the solutions side of the equation, giving a voice to the uplifting stories of people working to realize their dreams of a thriving, sustainable world.

For the films that focused on the problems-side, it’s no longer enough to advance the well-trodden ideas of the past. It’s a time of creative destruction, where all of our assumptions about the world are no longer taken for granted, giving air to fresh, radical new perspectives and ideas.

While many are quick to still focus on the growing and troubling consolidation of the world’s major powers, it’s critical to not lose sight of the greater narrative unfolding, which resembles the birthing pains of an old order toppling, fighting to hold onto the last vestiges of its power as a new global consciousness shifts us into the next era.

To continue reading and to view the films visit this page at Films for Action.



A beautiful story. Where there is love there is always a way.

The Mystical Path


A Man & His Dog Buy More Time Together

Love is unbounded. Love knows no end. Love never dies.  The picture above featuring a man and his dog has led to a healing no one expected.

    This picture of a Minnesota man soothing carrying his dog through Lake Superior pulled heartstrings across the nation as soon as it was posted online in August. It was much more than a peaceful photograph: John Unger is committed to ailing dog Schoep, regularly taking the shepherd mix into the water to help ease the pain of the canine’s arthritis. Photographer Hannah Stonehouse captured the moment.

    Unger’s newfound celebrity changed his and his dog’s life. For the past few months, the Bayfield man received emotional letters and donations from all over the world. Over $10,000, mostly from moved strangers, pays for weekly laser therapy. “He has a much better life,” Unger told…

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A Little Advice from the Moon



Thanks Hippy Peace Freaks!


by Anonymous
from The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation — Kindness Stories

Fate has a way of bringing those who need us and those who we need together at the penultimate moment.  The following was submitted to The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s Kindness Stories and moved me so much I had to share it here.  Please visit the site.  There are so many uplifting stories!


It was a particularly cold winter. The kind of winter with strong winds and heavy rains, that turns umbrellas inside out, and makes you want to stay in bed under the warm blankets. This was the winter of Kuko, a winter of hardship, and a winter of hard knocks.

It’s funny how one small event can start a chain of events that ultimately lead to one, single destination. That destination was me. My neighbor worked the night shift. As he was driving home, his headlights caught a glimpse of a kitten on the road and fearing that he had hit it, he stopped. He grabbed the kitten and immediately headed to an all night veterinarian clinic. An x-ray and 90 euros later he found out that the kitten was okay. He then tried to leave the kitten at a shelter, but they were closed for the night. With no other avenue to follow, he brought the kitten home and then proceeded to do what still has me scratching my head today: he dropped the kitten in my courtyard, knowing that I had cats.

None of this I knew, however, till much later for at 2:00 a.m. I was in a deep sleep. For as long as I can remember, we’ve always had pets. We had many cats and dogs, but also hamsters, mice, birds, and we came darn close to having a monkey. We never turned away a stray. It would be fair to say that I’m genetically wired to help the critters. Although I was deeply asleep, when I heard that pitiful mewing I woke up immediately, threw on my slippers and robe, and rushed outside to find this kitten. I had to do this twice before I finally found him.

I rushed him inside and immediately set up a warm bed and mini-sandbox in a warm room for him. I had a container of powdered milk for cats so immediately went about getting some food into him, one eyedropper at a time. He was a sad looking thing. He was full of fleas, had a dull coat, and appeared to have a viral infection of the eyes. Once I put him down to sleep, I headed back to bed and set my alarm to get up early so I could take him to the vet’s.

The vet said the viral infection had resulted in blindness. If the kitten had been treated early, his eyesight could have easily been saved. Additionally, one eye simply never opened. So I took the kitten home and isolated him for a few days so I could get the fleas under control as well as slowly introduce the kitten to our other cats. We named him Kuko.

Kuko grew up like any other kitten: He loved to run around the house, play with the other cats, wreak havoc when he could, and settle in for a nice long nap on my lap. He didn’t learn the visual cues from other cats; rather, from me. I’m a great one to hug and kiss my cats so Kuko’s interpretation of this was to head-butt me when he wanted affection. I assume this was the result of my nose hitting him every time I would swoop in for a kiss. When he wanted to be picked up, he would stand on his back paws and reach up for me with his two front paws. Our relationship grew and he flourished into this beautifully marked cat of sweet temperament.

When I think of Kuko, It never crosses my mind how lucky he was to find me. I always think how lucky I was to have him come into my life. He makes me more acutely aware of all things around me and brings joy into my life every single day.


Of Note:  The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation also offers educator resources to download exciting lesson plans based on real-life actions by community leaders for students.


miracle worker


Submitted by Sammi Rosen

Thank you, Soul Bulb!


kindness matters


Courtesy of truth-is-in

Creative Energy and Connection: A Letter to My Daughter

By Lenny Rosen

This is part of a letter to my daughter, Tarani.  I was trying to encourage her to keep playing and writing music. I made a good living in my youth in the music industry as did my youngest son and I want to support her any way I can.

I truly believe there is a connection to the energy in my life force and to the energy in the universe and they affect each other. I have walked into the ocean and have thought about how the mass of my body was displacing the entire ocean. As miniscule as it was it was being felt across the globe. The water on my skin and the movement of the ocean creating reactions from me and my mass and movement in the water doing the same to the ocean. A connection I believe takes place with my energy and the universe.

At one time, I didn’t consider myself an artist. I can draw, but not creatively. I can transmit what I see to paper via pencil but I could never admire a copy machine for the ability to show emotion or passion in the paper it spits out from one orifice or another. I have come to believe that creating alone does not constitute a work of art but creative energy is a force in the universe.

The musician, songwriter, poet, sculptor, painter, every person with the talent to create a thing of beauty, does not stand alone as the artist. I believe that every person that appreciates and connects with the work of art becomes a part of the artist. A melody that creates a mood or a ballad that revives an emotion for you can connect you to the artist at the time it was created. Finding yourself lost within the lonely contours of a sculpture or sensing the despair of a painter through the colors he spread upon the canvas not only connects you to the artist but the emotion or passion that inspired the creation.

We are all artists the moment we create. Even a good liar can be considered a bull artist when they have mastered the craft. We are left with artistic creations that are virtual transmitters of energy capable of reaching across space and time to connect to the creator. We have all cried in a movie, been touched by song or stood motionless in awe of a painting by the masters and become a part of architecture. Every creation no matter how small or seemingly insignificant will stand as a tribute to its creator and the channel will be opened.

A crayon picture on the fridge that only reaches a few or a song that spreads joy or meaning to millions is ready upon creation to receive a form of energy. All creations are capable of transmitting the creative energy it took to create it. It allows you to be the character in the story, object in the art and subject of the song. Yes, the artist is singing about you or directly to you, if you allow it to.

The energy you create interacting with the artwork is funneled back to the creator. Energy is never lost and creative energy can expand. A John Keats poem states “A thing of beauty is a joy forever; it will never pass into nothingness.” The law of conservation of energy states that energy can never be lost or created it is only changed to a different form. I believe energy exists in the realm of consciousness to include love, beauty, art, emotional feelings that can certainly drain your physical energy.

I don’t claim to know the source I am only convinced that people have tapped into that energy to create changes. Either through prayer, meditation, creative energy, anger, positive thinking and I don’t know how this works but the evidence is clear to me. Human beings are capable of imprinting energy with creativity and it exists on a molecular scale within them. That energy will accompany the art created.


Fisherman Rescues Bald Eagle: A Two-Fold Act of Kindness

Courtney Short probably never imagined he’d end up a rescuer while on his way to work the graveyard shift at Hill Air Force base in Northern Utah.  He probably also never expected that this one deed would also raise the awareness of a problem that is turning deadly to wildlife.  Lead.

Courtney encountered a bald eagle who was so weak it allowed itself to be picked up and even cradled like a baby.  He rushed it to the nearby Humane Society where it’s receiving care, but unfortunately it’s not doing well.  Caregivers determined quickly the bird was suffering from lead poisoning.  Although they’re injecting him with calcium in hopes of filtering the lead from its system, the eagle may not survive.

But what Courtney’s actions have accomplished is to give this bird a chance at survival.  Not only that, but it’s also raised awareness of one more case of lead poisoned wildlife in the area.  The cause is linked to lead bullets used by hunters.  If an animal is shot but not reclaimed it can go off and die and then become food for scavengers who in turn ingest the lead and die.  There is hope that in spreading awareness of how damaging this practice is to wildlife hunters and fishermen will stop using lead.  This was the second eagle within the month to be brought into the Humane Society suffering from the poisoning.

So Courtney’s good deed is two-fold.  He’s given the bird a chance and shined light on a damaging practice that needs to change.  Bravo!


“When You Plant Lettuce…” — Thich Nhat Hanh

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you
don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not
doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or
less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have
problems with our friends or family, we blame the other
person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will
grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive
effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason
and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no
reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you
understand, and you show that you understand, you can
love, and the situation will change”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“How Far that Little Candle…” — William Shakespeare

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

William Shakespeare


Courtesy Joyous Footprints