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5 Must Watch Comedies With Surprisingly Powerful Messages

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For many of us, movies are a central part of our lives. We can relate to them, they make us laugh, they make us cry and they offer us an escape from the trials and tribulations of daily life. As Jeff from the CE team eluded to in a recent post entitled 10 Movies That Could Change Your Understanding Of Life, movies can also seek to answer profound life questions and address themes we are curious to explore. In this list, however, I’m going to talk about 5 movies one would likely never expect to learn life lessons from, but yet offer wonderful food for thought.

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Before starting the list I would like to give a spoiler alert. The core themes/ message of each of these movies will be mentioned in the write-up of this article, so if you prefer to keep it a surprise simply make a mental note of the title and skip onto the next one. I’d also like to note that these 5 films are comedies that were marketed as comedies, so films that were centered around powerful messages or heartfelt stories that also had comical bits to them were not considered (ex. Forrest Gump, Patch Adams). Here are 5 comedy movies with surprisingly powerful messages:

1. Don Jon

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The 2013 film Don Jon was Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s writing and directorial debut. The comical story centres around a typical New Jersey male whose main priorities in life are his family, his friends, his faith, his body and “hooking up” with as many women as possible. On the surface this certainly doesn’t seem like a film to offer much deep meaning, especially when you add in his addiction to pornography, but the film very effectively delves into the unwanted side effects that regularly exposing ourselves to porn can have; effects such as desensitization, the setting of unrealistic expectations and an inability to connect with someone at a deeper level.

The experiences that the main character ‘Jon’ go through throughout the film are incredibly funny yet relatable at the same time, and offer us the viewers something to think about it when it comes to what we do and do not expose ourselves to regularly.

The potential side effects of regularly watching pornography is a subject we’ve covered a number of times here at CE, be sure to check out all of the following 3 articles to explore it further: LINK 1, LINK 2, LINK 3.

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2. Mr. Destiny

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The 1990 classic Mr. Destiny centres around Larry Burrows, an unhappy and unfulfilled married family man, who is given the opportunity to see how his life would have transpired had one key event gone differently. The film is both comedic and lighthearted throughout, but it offers quite a bit of food for thought surrounding the theme of regret. Much like the old adage ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ alludes to, the film effectively shows how our mind can make anything other than our current reality seem optimal.

Using the concept of alternate timelines and a mysterious/ spiritual guide character, played by Michael Caine, Mr. Destiny is much more than your average comedy. It gives us a reminder to better appreciate our lives for what they are and to choose to live in the moment, rather than bog ourselves down in regret.

3. Yes Man

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Starring the hilarious Jim Carrey alongside the adorable Zooey Deschanel, Yes Man follows the story of a depressed divorcee in a dead-end job who finds new life in a seminar he stumbles into by chance. The seminar introduces him to the concept of saying “yes” to everything in life, the polar opposite to what both Jim’s character and so many of us are used to doing in our daily lives. Although the end results are absurd and unrealistic at various points throughout the film, it serves as a great reminder for us as the viewer to step outside of our comfort zones. It effectively shows that we are more in control of our reality than we often give ourselves credit for, and that we further harness that control when we open ourselves up to more than just what we are used to.

As with most Jim Carrey films, the movie is incredibly funny, the bonus is that it will more than likely leave you wanting to try something new in life. Given Jim’s close relationship and admiration for the teachings of Eckhart Tolle -who regularly speaks on embracing life -the underlying message of the film is not overly surprising -but I could just be making an unnecessary link here.

Jim Carrey has become a recurring face here at CE, be sure to check out some of the other times he has made an appearance: LINK 1, LINK 2, LINK 3.

4. Click

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The 2006 film Click, starring Adam Sandler, follows the story of a man that discovers a universal remote that gives him the power to pause, fast forward and rewind through his life. What starts off as a comedic venture through time ends up touching upon -and quite profoundly I may add -the lack of appreciation that we tend to have for the less colourful and more mundane aspects to our lives. The film also serves as a social commentary on how much of our lives we spend on auto-pilot, when really every given moment is something to behold, and has the potential to be as profound as any other moment that we for one reason or another choose to cherish and value.

Like all the other films on this list, the movie manages to remain lighthearted and comedic throughout but really drives home an unexpected powerful message in what my opinion is one of Adam Sandler’s best performances. The message presented at the end reminds me of the powerful message in the article The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying, you can read that by clicking HERE.

5. Shallow Hal

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The 2001 film Shallow Hal follows the story of Hal, a stereotypical superficial male in his thirties who, thanks to the help of Anthony Robbins, is given the ability to see women for their inner beauty rather than their actual external appearance. With this ability Sal finds himself incredibly interested in a series of women that based on societal expectations any superficial male would never have any level of interest in. The comedy delivers a powerful message on the importance of inner beauty and offers incredible social commentary on how superficial and judgemental so many of our minds have been programmed to be.

The concept of redefining beauty is something that we at CE have touched upon on numerous occasions, including the articles: Why Do So Many Cultures Idolize The Western Caucasian Image Of Beauty?  |  Why We Can’t Let The Beauty Industry Shape Our Children  | It’s Time We Retire The Statement “A Real Woman”

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Do you have any other suggestions for comedies with a surprisingly powerful message? Feel free to share them via the comment section below! Also be sure to check out another list I put together back in 2012 of over 80 films with truth or consciousness within them.


Ready to change your life today? Get my FREE eBook on 5 Quick Daily Hacks for a GENUINELY Happier Life sent straight to your inbox within 48 hours by signing up here. And for more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Facebook.

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The Mental Health Morass: Good for Pharma, Bad for Youth

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When several hundred Colorado high school students walked out of a post-school-shooting vigil last May to protest the event’s politicization, their departing chant was, “mental health, mental health.” While this response may have unsettled the event’s organizers, it was unsurprising in the context of widespread media accounts of an “epidemic of anguish” among American youth. According to this narrative, not only is “the increase in mental health issues among [U.S.] teens and young adults…nothing short of staggering,” but around the globe, mental illness is set to become the “next major global health challenge” and “pandemic of the 21st century.”

Without making light of the problem or minimizing anyone’s personal suffering, it is clear that one entity that stands to benefit mightily from a deepening mental health crisis is the pharmaceutical industry. Psychiatric medications have long been “growth superstars”—generating billions in sales for companies like Pfizer and Eli Lilly “as the U.S. became Prozac Nation, antipsychotics also became antidepressants, and ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder] a byword.” Already in the mid-2000s, a Harvard economist reported that spending on psychotropic drugs had substantially outpaced overall prescription drug spending—no mean feat given the drug market’s exponential growth.

Outsized drug company profits and clever marketing tactics have prompted many to question the industry’s “oversized role in determining how mental illness is treated.” Even in conventional medical circles, clinicians acknowledge the need for “radical change in the paradigm and practices of mental health care,” including interventions that emphasize prevention and non-pharmacologic treatment modalities. These sorts of recommendations are urgently needed—not least for the young people for whom there is scant evidence of psychotropic medication safety or efficacy.

Overlapping trends

Modern psychiatry situates an alphabet soup of diagnoses under the broad rubric of “mental, emotional and behavioral” (MEB) disorders. It is no longer uncommon for children and adolescents to receive one or more of these diagnoses: anxiety disorder; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; autism spectrum disorder; bipolar disorder; conduct disorder; depression; disruptive behavior disorder; drug abuse or dependence; eating disorders; obsessive-compulsive disorder; oppositional defiant disorder; pervasive developmental disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder; and schizophrenia.

The proliferation of mental health diagnoses in young people overlaps considerably with trends in diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, mental health diagnoses frequently intersect with physical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy, which are more often present in children with mental disorders than in children without such disorders. Pediatric hospital admissions for non-behavioral disorders result in higher costs and longer stays when they are comorbid with behavioral disorders.

One of the few large-scale surveys to focus on MEB disorders in children (rather than adults) was the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), conducted from 2001 to 2004. The NCS-A found that half of U.S. youth (ages 13-18) had been diagnosed with at least one MEB disorder—including one in five with behavior disorders and three in ten with anxiety disorders—with the impairments rated as “severe” in roughly one-fourth of the affected teens. For many of the young people, onset and diagnosis occurred well before adolescence. Reviewing the evidence, the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine reported in 2009 that “early MEB disorders should be considered as commonplace as a fractured limb: not inevitable but not at all unusual.”

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The impact

Recent research has documented some of the impact of these “commonplace” diagnoses in young people. Between 2011 and 2015, for example, visits by U.S. youth to psychiatric emergency departments increased by 28%. By age group, the largest increase—54%—was seen in adolescents (as compared to younger children or youth in their early 20s), in whom the researchers also reported a 2.5-fold increase in suicide-related visits. As of 2010, mood disorders (which include both bipolar and depressive disorders) were the most frequent principal diagnosis given to hospitalized children ages 1-17—up 80% since 1997. The hospitalization rate for bipolar disorders increased fourfold between the two time points (1997–2010), especially in the 10-14 and 15-17 age groups.

Researchers describe comorbid ADHD as “nearly universal” among youth with bipolar disorder, with ADHD and anxiety disorders viewed as common precursors of bipolar disorder. The trend toward increased diagnosis of both ADHD and bipolar disorder has prompted increased use by young people of both inpatient and outpatient mental health services as well as an exponential increase in the prescribing of medication. In office-based settings, where mental health care for young people has increased more rapidly than for adults, psychotropic medication prescriptions for younger patients are often provided by physicians with no psychiatric training.

For both ADHD and bipolar disorder, pharmacologic treatment relies heavily on powerful psychostimulants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Reporting on data collected in 2011–2012, researchers noted that a large proportion (44%) of very young children diagnosed with ADHD (2- to 5-year-olds) were taking medication, most commonly central nervous system stimulants. Nationally, a survey of children with special health care needs conducted in 2009–2010 found that 74% of ADHD-diagnosed children ages 4-17 had received medication in the past week.

Both the scientific community and mainstream media have raised questions about whether widespread administration of mind-altering psychostimulants to young children is safe or “meaningfully beneficial.” In 2016, a Washington Post reporter cited CDC findings when noting that “The long-term effects of those [ADHD] drugs on a young brain and body have not been well studied, and the side effects can be numerous, including poor appetite, sleeplessness, irritability and slowed growth.” Other risks of these freely prescribed drugs include the potential to actually worsen mania, foster addiction or lead to further medication. In the push for increased treatment, clinicians have largely ignored these risks.

In some states, special education funding policies create financial incentives to actively identify and medicate children with ADHD. In those states, children are “about 15 percent more likely to report having ADHD and…about 22 percent more likely to be taking medication for ADHD.” As a medical ethicist has commented, these patterns raise questions about the “muddier” aspects of psychiatric diagnosis and the variability “as regards who and what drive [diagnostic] practices.”

The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) commonly prescribed for depression and anxiety disorders have also raised serious concerns—particularly about their potential to promote suicidality, aggression or other unwanted outcomes in children and adolescents. In 2016, the Nordic Cochrane Centre systematically reviewed clinical study reports from 70 trials of SSRIs and similar drugs and described substantial under-reporting of harms. Even with the under-reporting, the reviewed evidence linked the drugs to a doubling in the risk of suicidality and aggression in children and adolescents.

Why is this happening?

Researchers have floated many hypotheses about the underlying causes of the burgeoning youth mental health crisis. But while the mainstream media have been more than willing to give airtime to social explanations such as smartphone use and academic stress, the public has seen far less discussion of other plausible factors such as the gut-brain connection. For example, there is a complex interplay between the gut microbiome, the immune response and vaccination—and experimental evidence links vaccines and vaccine adjuvants to adverse mental health symptoms. There is also ample experimental evidence showing that gut microbiota disruptions caused by subchronic and chronic exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides can increase anxiety and depression-like behaviors at virtually any age. Moreover, research findings are suggestive of potential transgenerational effects of both vaccines and glyphosate. Rather than acquiesce to the perpetuation of hair-splitting mental health diagnoses—and the pharmaceutical “solutions” that always seem to follow close behind—it would seem wise to scrutinize these pervasive environmental threats while keeping in mind the age-old question of cui bono.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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Alternative News

12,000 Doctors Urge the FDA to Put Cancer Warnings on Cheese

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) recently submitted a citizen petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change labeling on cheese to include a cancer warning.

  • Reflect On:

    Why have our federal health regulatory agencies and big food companies marketed dairy products as safe, healthy and necessary when the science clearly suggests otherwise.

What do doctors learn about nutrition in medical school? Shockingly and unfortunately, nothing. Why? Because nutrition does not bring in profit, and treating people with nutrition hasn’t seemed to be an option at all ever since the birth of the mainstream medical industry. The sad reality is that “the medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” – Arnold Seymour Relman (source)

Thankfully, things are changing and changing fast. A lot of people are taking their nutritional education into their own hands, and many doctors are also educating themselves on the power of nutrition through the plethora studies and clinical evidence that’s available out there.

One of the latest examples of doctors educating themselves comes from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), who recently submitted a citizen petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change labeling on cheese to include a cancer warning.

Why? Because based on the research, cheese, and dairy from the animal of another is not good, but bad for us. This reality may be hard for many to believe given the fact that it’s been one of the stable food groups for so long. It’s time we start recognizing that “nutritional education” that we grow up with is a product of the big food companies and marketing, it’s not backed by any science and more people are starting to become aware of what the science is actually showing us.

The petition states:

Dairy cheese contains reproductive hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk. (This sentence is what they want on dairy cheese products).

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High-fat dairy products, such as cheese, are associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. Components in dairy such as insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and other growth hormones may be among the reasons for the increased risk for cancer.

To ensure that Americans understand the potential significant risks, and resulting long-term costs, of consuming dairy cheese products, the FDA should ensure that the notice above is prominently placed on product packaging and labeling for all dairy cheese products.

I find it interesting that they mention IGF-1 growth hormone.

A 2015 study published in Cell Metabolism is one of multiple studies that points out:

Mice and humans with Growth Hormone Receptor/IGF-1 deficiencies display major reductions in age-related diseases. Because protein restriction reduces GHR-IGF-1 activity, we examined links between protein intake and mortality. Respondents (n=6,381) aged 50–65 reporting high protein intake had a 75% increase in overall mortality and a 4-fold increase in cancer and diabetes mortality during an 18 year follow up period. These associations were either abolished or attenuated if the source of proteins was plant-based.

The study above corroborates with a lot of other research showing that animal protein skyrockets IFG-1 growth hormone, thus leading to a wide variety of diseases, in the long term, including cancer. The interesting thing is that protein from plants, as the study points out, “abolished or attenuated” these associations “if the source of proteins was plant-based.”

Fasting has been shown to reduce the risk and even reverse many age related diseases, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It’s also been shown to regenerate stem cells and slow down the overall aging process, much of that is due to the fact that fasting drops our IGF-1 growth hormone levels.

A recent study conducted by researchers in California and France found that meat protein is associated with a very sharp increased risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is actually beneficial for the human heart.

The study is titled “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort,” It was a joint project between researchers from Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California and AgroParisTech and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Paris, France.

It was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The researchers found that people who ate large amounts of meat protein, which is a daily norm for many people, represented a portion of the human population that would experience a 60 percent increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD), while people who consumed large amounts of protein from nuts and seeds actually experienced a 40 percent reduction in CVD.

Dairy “Turning on Cancer.”

Doctor Colin Campbell. author of the “China Study”  discovered that animal protein (casein) can accelerate and “turn on” cancer, while plant based protein has the opposite effect.

“What I did during the early part of my career was nothing more than what traditional science would suggest. I made the observation that diets presumably higher in animal protein were associated with liver cancer in the Philippines. When coupled with the extraordinary report from India showing that casein fed to experimental rats at the usual levels of intake dramatically promoted liver cancer, it prompted my 27-year-long study The China Project, of how this effect worked. We did dozens of experiments to see if this was true and, further, how it worked.” – Dr Colin Campbell, (China Study)

Campbell is an American biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long term health. He is Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, he has a Ph.D. in nutrition, biochemistry, and microbiology. Scholars like Campbell and their work is so important in a world of medical education and academia that almost completely ignores nutrition.

Casein is the most relevant chemical carcinogen ever identified, make no mistake about it. (source)

Campbell went beyond mere correlation and found using animal studies he conducted that casein actually “turns on” cancer. When animals were fed a diet high in casein, the cancer increased dramatically. What’s even more interesting is when they decided to do a comparison using plant protein.

What we learned along the way is that we could turn on and turn off cancer. Turn it on by increasing casein consumption, turn it off by decreasing it or replacing it with plant protein. That was a really exciting thing that we could take nutrition and turn cancer on and off, I mean that, that was pretty startling. – Campbell (source)

The Takeaway

We are the only species on the planet that consumes the dairy of another animal after weaning.  The reduction of lactase activity after infancy is a genetically programmed event. Approximately 75 % of Earths population is lactose intolerant for a reason, because it’s perfectly natural. We are not meant to drink the milk of another animal and we had to evolve the gene to digest it.  The statistics vary from race to race and country to country but overall they show an abnormal amount of individuals who qualify. In some Asian countries, 90 percent of the population is lactose intolerant.

It seems the big food companies convinced us that it’s a requirement, and that it’s healthy. They used protein and calcium (both of which are present in a number of plant sources, for example) as mass marketing tools to push dairy products on the population in order to turn a very large profit, all at the health expense of human beings.

This is one of multiple examples off mass perception manipulation.

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Consciousness

California’s First Surgeon General: Screen Every Student For Childhood Trauma

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    California's first surgeon general Dr. Nadine Burke Harris has a dream to screen children for childhood trauma before entering schools in an attempt to help them process these experiences to avoid developmental issues.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it time we take an entirely new societal and cultural approach to the emotional challenges we collectively face? Is it time we take personal responsibility for the communities we live within?

California’s first surgeon general, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, has an ambitious goal to screen every student for childhood trauma before entering school. Dr. Harris has dedicated her career to changing the way society views and responds to childhood trauma. This is a worthwhile effort as research shows childhood trauma affects brain development and it will build a society that is more empathetic to all and unique situations.

Why it matters: While some feel this is not the job of state to determine this, and in the wrong hands this could appear to be a pharmaceutical nightmare, it appears Dr. Harris’ specifics are going in the right direction. Reframing ‘disorders’ doctors simply don’t seem to understand is an important step in helping kids.

“One thing that tipped me off was the number of kids being sent to me by schools — principals, teachers and administrators — with ADHD […] “What I found was that many of the kids were experiencing signs of adversity, and there seemed to be a strong association between adversity and the trauma they experienced and school functioning.”

Already, Dr. Harris’ research team has found that kids who had experienced severe trauma were 32 times more likely to be diagnosed with learning and behavioural problems than kids who had not. Further pointing to the fact that many of the challenges we face in society come from challenging times and emotions that never get processed.

We live in a time where emotional intelligence and self-awareness are extremely undeveloped across the globe, and this is not being taught to enough people, especially at a young age.

The conscious takeaway: There is no doubting the fact that we need more community in our world. And while people doubt the creation of community in the wrong hands, it doesn’t mean all have nefarious intentions. Raising awareness about topics such as this whereby a leader truly feels that blanket statements like ADHD don’t really tell us anything about a child and we must look deeper, is a great thing!

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Imagine a world where education and societal culture did focus on things like emotional intelligence and helping people process their challenging experiences? We all know telling someone to just ‘buck up and let it go’ hasn’t brought us to a good space, perhaps it’s time for an entire cultural shift? This, after all, has been what we have been creating here at Collective Evolution for the last 10 years.

This story very much plays into steps 2, 3 and 4 of the CE Protocol. Awakening neutrality within people, deprogramming our limitations and then living aligned with our true and authentic self.

“When you have a whole community making real change, you can have a big and lasting change.” – Dr. Nadine Burke Harris

Looking deeper: Currently, the approach to children who are ‘problems’ in school is to get rid of them or medicate them. In fact, there are over 20 million schoolchildren who are being prescribed stimulants and psychotropic drugs according to Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Most of the public is not even aware of this. While big pharma profits huge with an unconscious approach to these challenges, society suffers greatly.

It’s truly time for something different, and all you have to ask yourself is are we capable of creating more peace within our youth and society? If yes, a new approach is needed.

20 Million Schoolchildren Have Been Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs Known to Cause Suicidal Thoughts

More Public Schools Choosing Meditation Over Detention & Teaching Mindfulness Practices

 

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