BY PAMELA BOWMAN, MESA, USA – “To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.” — Bernard Edmonds. Six months ago I told my friends I wanted to make movies. There is power in verbalizing your dreams.
In February, during our MCC digital film class our instructor, Cyndi Greening, announced that she was producing a film and a documentary that would be shot in Zambia, Africa. She then invited any class members interested in assisting in the project to submit a letter explaining why they should be considered for the project. My son, also a student in this class, encouraged me to try for a spot on the film crew. My supportive husband told me to write the letter. I hesitated. Why would a middle-aged woman (albeit a college graduate 25 years ago!) be considered for such a project? What could I offer? So many self-doubts flooded my mind. “Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning.” -Mahatma Gandhi.
I prepared and submitted my letter. We continued to work on our class film projects. I signed up to assist in the MCC spotlight project. I began working with other filmmakers and discovered how beneficial, crucial and liberating teamwork can and should be.
As the semester progressed so did the project. Meetings were held and expectations were expressed. Funding goals achieved. Hopes became reality. This film was going to be made. The documentary of the film began. Roles were discussed. Issues were addressed. Passports were required. Medical procedures were outlined. More meetings were scheduled. The importance of loyalty to the project and each other was emphasized. Research of Zambia began. Project goals were outlined.
Who was going would be determined by the amount of funds raised and if your contribution would warrant the expense incurred. “The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.” -Albert Einstein. I want to be of great value.
Journalists began to investigate and report on the project. MCC began to explore the many educational opportunities for foreign and domestic students. Government officials began to appreciate the positive political ramifications of this project. More meetings, more schedules, more opportunities.
A Zambian named Jabbes had a dream to come to America to learn digital film so he could return to his country and provide more artistic and financial opportunities for the Zambian people. He has a beautiful story to tell, BAD TIMING. So much good from one man’s dream. “It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” — Robert Kennedy. Jabbes is sending many ripples of hope.
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”-Woodrow Wilson. We will not forget the errand.
Six months ago I quit my job and began pursuing my own dreams. Six months! Anything is possible when you have a dream … and you have a professor named Cyndi Greening who sends forth ripples of hope everyday.