It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live…we all have our own unique way in which we view the world. If you have been fortunate enough to have plenty, it alters your view of the rest of the world and how people live in it. The same is true if you were raised in poverty – you see yourself and life differently than if you’d been raised with an abundance.
Americans see the world one way – people from the Middle East, Israel, Russia, China, North or South Korea, Argentina, Haiti, India – though we’re all people, we have a set of experiences that color how we see life and the role we play in it.
In India last June, we were in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and we were walking down what appeared to be an alleyway when I came across a scene where there was a child leaning out of a window. We must have made quite a curious sight because not only did this child find our passing of interest, but we attracted the attention of nearly everyone that was in the alley or the buildings that lined it on both sides. After all, I’m sure it isn’t every day that they see a parade of well-off Americans wandering down their alleyway.
As I reflected on this picture today, I found myself wondering what this child did today. Here in the United States we have been celebrating President’s Day, but I’m sure that this child did no such thing. How did he feel today? Did they go anywhere? How much have they had to eat? What does this child dream of some day doing? Where would he live if he had a choice? What does he think of Americans, if he thinks of us at all? What will become of this little one, beloved by his family?
Pictures capture faces and moments in time that are frozen forever and sometimes we forget that the people and creatures in the pictures are never frozen in that way. They live, move, breath…eat, sleep, and die…though the picture would try to tell us otherwise. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges of being a good photographer (which I don’t claim to be) is to care about people and their stories. To be able to capture them, for a fraction of a second, is a rare privilege that one should never take for granted.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Bermuda has no islands or lakes. The inhabitants must use rain water if they are to use naturally occurring water.