Changing Our Story To Save The World with Tom Shadyac

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We've been taught that the "real world" is one of disconnected individuals needing to compete in a struggle to survive. After talking with many sociologists, biologists, scientists, linguists, spiritual leaders, and social artists, Tom Shadyac is convinced that, this idea of a "real world," isn't the real world. He points out that there is, "strong evidence that we are different than we've been told. We really are not separate. This is why people respond to tragedies like Haiti. When we see the Haitian children, whom we've never met, we intuit and know in our hearts that they are family, that they are our brothers and sisters, It's natural that we want to reach out." But this feeling is short-lived because, as Shadyac says, "We participate in a society that disconnects us from that. It says, 'okay, that was fine. Now, you have to get back to the 'real world.' This idea of a 'real world' isn't the real world." He shares how the true real world is one in which it is natural for us to feel empathy, compassion, and deep connection to one another. His film points out, irrefutably, a multitude of ways in which we are connected to one another, and how we can truly turn this world around for the better. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Tom Shadyac is a top Hollywood writer, director, and producer. He's the award winning filmmaker of Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor, Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty, Patch Adams, and other hugely popular films. His latest endeavor is a departure from his comedic fare. It is a feature documentary that makes a strong case for changing the story we're telling ourselves about human nature, and about how we can change the world for the better. It is entitled, I Am: The Shift Is About to Hit the Fan. If you'd like to learn more about this film, where it is playing, and see trailers go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What is the other story of Darwin
  • How the human species is at a cross-road of evolution
  • How unchecked growth, even in the economy, can be detrimental of life
  • How we've been taught we are not connected, even though there is strong evidence to the contrary
  • How individuals have the ultimate power, as history has shown
  • Why it is insane to live in isolation rather than community

Host: Justine Willis Toms       Interview Date: 3/5/2011     Program Number: 3397