by Tarek Fayoumi
With 2022 just around the corner, I have been thinking that there are times when we could all be kinder to each other. Luckily, 2021 has offered a lot of what I loved before the pandemic. Attending cultural events, seeing movies in theaters, and writing film reviews have all improved my spirits. Although many businesses have now reopened and there are more things in the world to be excited about, there are still many people who are struggling. As an alumnus of Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, I want to elaborate on suggested strategies to be kinder going into 2022.
Since becoming a film critic in the Chicago Indie Critics, I realize that I am now receiving more positive feedback about my writing and my knowledge of film. I appreciate the support, but I also believe my fellow critics deserve positive feedback as well. One of the things I’ve learned through the Chicago Indie Critics is to share the reviews of other critics. The strategy of being kinder in this way demonstrates that I acknowledge that critics have my back, and I also have theirs. This mutual admiration has helped to build a network of awesome cinema aficionados. Turning Pointe Autism Foundation taught me how important it is to help not just myself, but others stay on top of their game. Through the support and mentoring I have received, I have been able to hone my craft as film critic and lend a hand to others pursuing their unique passions.
Helping others make their dreams come true is a big deal to me. For example, I am currently working as an associate producer on a film that is in its final stages of production. I have written a film review of the director’s previous work to help their project gain attention. My way of being kinder in this scenario is to use my own gifts to help others make their dreams come true. Supporting independent projects goes a long way. When there is something you are passionate about such as like movies, art, or music, helping potential ideas come to life can make a positive impact on one’s creative life.
Hardship has been a real challenge for many this year. I am thankful to be employed and working, but sadly some are still in financial binds, and are struggling to make ends meet. Financial resources and government assistance have also become more limited as the pandemic continues. Sometimes when I’m in a convenience shop, grocery store, or gas station, I see tip jars for those who are in need. I have come to realize that when I am having a rough day that helping others can make a difference. Therefore, if I have spare change, I put it in the container. A few coins or a even a dollar can have an impact. It is one small thing I can do to show I care. Paying it forward is another way to spread kindness in the world.
There are many talented individuals who are involved with the Turning Pointe Autism Foundation. Many of the students display such unique and amazing gifts. However, they often struggle to experience success when pursuing the things that they love. My goal is to inspire others to not give up on their dreams. There were low points in my life when I wanted to give up on my goal of becoming a film critic, but the empathy and encouragement of Turning Pointe Autism Foundation pushed me beyond what I thought was possible. Turning Pointe has been amazingly kind to me throughout my journey. I hope that I can keep learning how to be kinder in 2022 and be a role model for others to do the same.
Tarek Fayoumi is an avid film and entertainment enthusiast. His movie reviews can be found at www.movieswithtarek.com. This passion and hobby buoyed his spirit long before the pandemic. Since his promotion from the Turning Pointe Career program, Tarek successfully independently secured full-time employment. We trust his colleagues rely on him for regular movie insights now, too!