SURVIVING ON THE GENEROSITY OF OTHERS - CRAIGSLIST JOE

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Recently I was in the mood to watch something that evoked some sort of emotion, an appreciation for life or some universal spiritual affirmation.

I'm not religious in the slightest, I certainly don't believe that the human race have got it figured - why we are here, how we got here or what's next - but I do believe that there is a mystery beyond our imagination, something no book or science experiment can uncover.

This deep feeling is a more recent development since stepping away and changing life directions. I've been less distracted by my motivations for a career, a decent income and all the other pretty materialism our systemised lifestyle seems to pre-determine. And with that I feel more open to new experiences, new people and a whole new journey.

Browsing through Netflix last night I was specifically looking for a documentary that enlightened this feeling and between Human Planet and Craigslist Joe, I went with the latter.

A guy called Joe decides to pack his bag with a laptop, a contact-less phone, passport and a toothbrush, his only clothes are the ones he wears. For a month he tries to survive on the generosity of strangers mainly found through Craigslist, an online network of communities and classified ads. His month long journey takes him around America, meeting all walks of life, the strange, the under privileged, the free-living, old and young mingling with multi cultures, interests and life stories.

I loved it. Although heavily criticised for it's very safe and perhaps sugar coated interpretation of life on the streets, I felt that it gave enough to say 'If we really wanted to live, we could'. Joe throws himself into anything - free breakdancing lessons, volunteering in refugee centres, soup kitchens, accepting random invites to family dinners, taking part in spiritual experiments, cleaning hoarder houses, sofa surfing and road tripping with strangers….

The connections he makes along the way and the random acts of generosity from people he knows very little about sparks a little fire of hope in that somewhere beneath the murky waters of our modern, systematic lifestyles there is a simple universal love - a desire to connect spiritually and strip away the fear and negativity that is so apparent in the way we have accustomed to living. 

Call me a hippie but how amazing a connection would we have if we were to take away worries, vanity, materialism, hate, selfishness and fear … is that even possible?



About the author

amy-hill

I make short films for a hobby! Despite 7 years studying towards a professional career in the medium I have found freedom of film-making and self expression doesn't come with a pay check...I have a huge interest in Youth/Community development that I like to blog, photograph and film :)

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