Video Diary

One of the most intimate activities in Room 301, in Video Diary we asked guests to select from a series of questions to answer on camera. Here we saw everything from laughs to tears, raw displays of emotion and passionate monologues imparting wisdom and inspiration to future guests.

“I wish every one of you to know that somewhere deep down inside, something about you is that good. Something about you is that transcendent, that interesting… just be yourself. Just enjoy the life you’ve got. Love every scrap of it with every bit of intensity and emotion and intention that you’ve got, and be as human as possible. Be as real as possible. Be as good of a human being as you possibly can.”
-- Room 301 Guest

Though the guests were vastly different from one another -- different backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, geographic locations, ages, beliefs -- key common themes still emerged. These included an emphasis on being kind and living in the moment, advice to make more time for real-life human connection, sharing of personal struggles and intimately painful moments and expressions of gratitude.

“We can affect our lives based on the choices we make. We are not some type of passenger in this world where we can’t do anything and we’re just going along for the ride. We can make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others. Remember that -- you make the choice at the end.” -- Room 301 Guest

Interestingly, when asked to describe their favorite thing about themselves, only one guest chose a physical attribute -- the rest referred to aspects of their personality, including positivity, extroversion, kindness, sensitivity, empathy and truly listening to others when they speak.

When asked to reflect on the last time they laughed or cried intensely, guests shared deeply personal moments -- everything from the death of a parent to watching a child struggle with a school subject to uncontrollable laughter with two young children. When asked about the best piece of advice they’d ever received, guests thoughtfully reflected on ideas including being unable to give to others if you are depleted yourself, the importance of listening over speaking, remembering that social media doesn’t show the true breadth of someone’s life experience and that you never know what might actually be going on behind the smile you see on camera.

You never know what people are going through... If I could go through my Instagram photos I could tell you ‘that day I was telling myself I was a piece of s*** and I was so sad, or that day I didn’t know where I was going to live, or that day I ate nothing because I hated the way I looked, or in this photo the person taking it made me feel uncomfortable, or in that photo I missed my mom.’”
-- Room 301 Guest

We also asked our guests what they think makes people uniquely human. Answers ranged from the ability to make choices, free will, the capacity for compassion, sensitivity and feelings but ultimately boiled down to one common thread -- the complexity of our emotions. Overwhelmingly, the guest outputs of Room 301 have shown that what makes us special and what connects us is that none of us are one thing or one emotion at any given time -- we are all multifaceted, complex individuals whose experiences intersect and diverge time and time again. It’s that organized randomness that seems to make life grand.

“I think humans are so complex, and that’s what differentiates us from any type of machinery or computer or anything else that tries to mimic human behavior. We’re so complex, deeper than what we can read as emotions on the surface level and deeper than our actions and how they are perceived by other people. Behind an emotion is always something deeper that maybe even we ourselves haven’t unlocked, and that’s what really makes us human.”
-- Room 301 Guest

The guests of Room 301 were brazenly honest, sharing their successes but also their shortcomings. Regardless of this duality of the human experience, we also found that most everyone maintained a positive, hopeful outlook for the future.

“The world is a big place and the future is a bigger place and there’s a whole lot of opportunity to be good, kind, generous, thoughtful, considerate human beings that our great-great-great-great grandchildren will look back on with fondness and be proud of… so get out there every day and try to make it a better place for the people who come after you.”
-- Room 301 Guest