3 Movies That Inspire Altruism! What Inspires YOU?


Patch adams with Robin Williams

I consider human satisfaction a metric of success. In life, your outlook has a major impact on how you interact with the world. Seeing the glass as half-full and not half-empty can turn your day around—works for me all the time.  When dealing with my day-to-day life, having a positive attitude helps me get through many situations while achieving the results I want.

Feeling positive and confident not only effects how you experience the world around you, but also improves your ability to connect and form relationships with others.  Of course, it’s part of our human nature to experience a plethora of negative emotions. The question then becomes: how do you let those emotions effect you?

All of our actions and reactions are interconnected. It’s rare to see people at work—or even friends—stick around when we are continually radiating negative energy. Realizing the powerful impact that mood and mindset can have, I came up with a fun way to get inspired: feel-good movies.  Below I have compiled a list of 3 AMAZING movies that moved my spirit in a meaningful and enduring way:

1.) Patch Adams (1998)
A doctor gone clown?  Based on true events, this movie tells the story of Hunter “Patch” Adams, a young and unconventional physician who proves that traditional medicine coupled with daily doses of laughter can dramatically improve the health of a patient. Patch founded the Gesundheit Institute, which is dedicated to revolutionizing health care delivery by replacing greed and competition with generosity, compassion and interdependence.

I’m a firm believer that one’s physical health can be improved by feeling emotionally good.  When I’m busy with activities and don’t laugh for a while, I know a nasty headache will come next. In fact, research shows that laughter makes you friendlier and sexier!

2.) The Blind Side (2009)
Also based on a true story, this movie had a lasting effect on me. Leigh Anne Touhy, a woman who had apparently accomplished “everything” in life, knew she could do more for others, including a total stranger.  Leigh Anne goes on to help an underprivileged, misunderstood—yet unbelievably compassionate and talented— young man overcome a world which was stacked against him to become a college graduate and professional football player. The Blind Side

Realizing we all have the power to change someone’s life, even if only a small change, is a powerful realization. Quite often making a change in someone else’s life can change ours in unexpected ways. This movie is an example of how leaving our comfort zone and extending ourselves for another can have life changing effects. Leigh Ann sums it up in four words when she is told by one of her friends “You’re changing that boy’s life.”  She replies: “No. He’s changing mine.”

3.) Finding Nemo (2003)
If you’re looking for something light-hearted and life affirming, you should pick up this children’s movie with a PG-13 sense of humor :  A son (Nemo, a cartoon fish) is separated from his father and has to face a series of critical challenges (with the help of strangers he meets along the way).  There’s a scene in the movie when Nemo and other fish are trapped in a tank at a dentist office. Naturally, they all want to escape, but as a group they decide instead to help Nemo get out so he can find his father.  The fish sacrificed their own freedom to help Nemo. However, in a powerful moment of altruism, Nemo comes back to set them free.

I’m always one to watch a movie to better my mood, but I know that not everyone responds the same way to film. Do you have a secret feel-good weapon? I’ve been looking for some altruism-inspiring music to listen to…any suggestions?

One comment on “3 Movies That Inspire Altruism! What Inspires YOU?

  1. Amir says:

    I was actually looking for a movie related to “individualism” when I found a new word “altruism”. How are two connected? Negative individualism is bashed as “me, me, me” only while too much altruism denies you your own self. In a certain light, probably we can find a good balance between the two.

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