Unreasonable commitment

There are things in life that are universally reasonable to be committed to. These include:

*a marriage
*raising children
*paying the bills for the house you live in
*saving money for that rainy day

But, what about things that are “unreasonable”? Those things in life that come from the core of your being and drive you to do things neither you nor others would normally do. This might manifest as putting off school to experience traveling in Asia, or dropping calculated plans you made because you fell in love with someone. Perhaps it’s getting up at 4AM daily to engage in a yoga practice that offers a sense of being well grounded while the rest of the house sleeps.

Certainly for me, leaving our current lives for our plans to move to Laos can seem unreasonable. What about the visa? Where will we live? Will we get something off the ground before dipping too far into savings? Where will we get adequate medical attention should we need it?

But, we’re in.

We’re committed to giving this a go and for some reason, it’s unreasonably wonderful.

Recently, a dear friend of mine, Amy Benson, was featured in a magazine called Courageous Creativity. In her article, “Unreasonable Commitment”, she shares her concerns around devoting herself to finishing her documentary,Opportunity Costs: The Brief Life of Shanta D., while nurturing her new role as a mother. She questions, with raw honesty, her choices.

“What am I doing? Will it ever get done? This is stupid—unreasonable even. I gave up a well- paying, extremely rewarding job as a teacher to be in the unpredictable, no paycheck world of documentary. Everything we do feels piecemeal and a little desperate.”

Amy and her husband, Scott Squire, are the life force behind Nonfiction Media where, among other things, they create promotional videos for nonprofit organizations and their own documentary shorts.

Now, this is no small documentary.

It began in 2008 following the lives of three teenaged girls in the impoverished reality of Nepal. Currently, it’s a country where suicide is the top cause of death for women ages 14-49. The focus of the film is education as a source of hope for these girls and their determined spirits to change their lives.

Tragically, in 2010, one of the girls interviewed, Shanta, committed suicide. In the midst of grief and guilt, Amy’s fierce perserverance has risen to give voice to Shanta’s story and so many others like her.

But, this has not come without costs. It’s been far from easy. In the same year she met Shanta, Amy had her first baby. It is during the times when the journey to completing the documentary is long and wearisome that she wonders about her commitment.

“Why am I spending the time that I could be with my son to make a film about a girl who is thousands of miles away, who speaks a language I don’t understand-and who is no longer alive?”

While they wrestled with their reasons and motivations, Amy and Scott feel they need to follow through with the project. And for Amy, the clarity of this decision emerged from the thing that connected her most to it-motherhood. Thinking about Shanta’s mother and her enormous loss motivates her further.

“For as unreasonable as it is to think that I, this white western woman, can tell Shanta’s story for the good of the world, it is even more unreasonable to think I mustn’t or shouldn’t. I am taking this on—the telling of Shanta’s story— to the best of my ability, not as a westerner, not even as a filmmaker, but as a girl, a woman and most of all as a mom.”

To help Amy and Scott complete this documentary to be released October 2012 and tell Shanta’s story your support is greatly appreciated.

*For Amy’s complete story “Unreasonable Commitment”, download Courageous Creativity January2012.

  1. Irene Morton said:

    To Amy and Scott…..your humanitarian efforts will come back to you ten fold! What a wonderful and courageous journey you and your family have undertaken. Blessings to you both!

  2. Christine, you are the absolute bomba! Thank you for posting this. We are redoubling our efforts to make the next steps on this project. Expect to hear more about Opportunity Costs soon!

  3. alix said:

    Reading these posts makes me really consider what I am doing with my life. Thank you for daring, for making the leap- you show the rest of us that it is possible. Learning more about your life makes me desire to discard my conventional, society approved plan and truly follow my heart to a state of bettering the world. You’re making a difference already!

  4. Thank you so much, Alix for those kind words. Knowing you, whatever you decide will be amazing.

  5. Every single “unreasonable” risk I have taken has been rewarded, I know yours will be as well.

  6. Thank you, Ayngelina. Have loved following your blog. I believe you’re right.

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