PHOTO: ALONE…DESPITE IT ALL (JUNE 14, 2013, GERMANTOWN, PHILA).


For some of you photography snobs, this picture may not be the best.

You’re right.  It’s not.

And you know what, I don’t care anymore.

I have been on this photography journey for 3 years now and I realized something very important.

If I can’t shoot the kind of photography that matters to me, then why am I doing this?

I realized that I could use my photography as a way to dig down deep into my inner workings to try to sort out what makes me angry, what makes me happy, what makes me think, what challenges me to grow and evolve so that before I kick off this earth I know that I tried….and those of you who can’t make heads or tails out of that are probably not meant to continue with me along this journey.  And I’m okay with that.

So for me, this photo embodies the chaos that the most vulnerable among us are bombarded with… manufactured chaos that we have bought into, manufactured chaos that convinces us that if we aren’t working soulless jobs and pumping our hard-earned money into the corporate vortex, it’s something wrong with us.

This is the very chaos that sends the most vulnerable among us into a fragile, disoriented, broken state that we can then point our fingers at, criticize, mock, joke about, talk about in hushed whispers among ourselves, and wonder out loud why don’t they get their act together… It’s all a bunch of bullshit.

What does it take for people with everything to truly understand and make meaningful connections with people who have nothing?  People who are alone and look around at wealth and conspicuous consumption and a myriad of choices that satiate their egos and lament over not having anything or anyway to participate in a meaningful way?

This is a question that I have been pondering for a while now.

I am not completely convinced that people with everything really want to practice empathy and compassion, primarily because it’s something that can’t be bought at Macy’s.   I’m willing to have this conversation; I’m willing to go out on a limb and find and document stories of true compassion that transcends boundaries, acts of our compassion that take us out of our comfort zones.

We have to do better.  Those of us with privilege – whether it’s because an accident of birth, or education, or status earned through careers or professional endeavors – have to do better.  We are not given these gifts to sit on our hands and shrug our shoulders and say that we can’t have these difficult conversations because it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable.

I reject this.

The proof that we’re failing is out there on the streets.

I’m looking for new answers.

I’m tired of the same old excuses.

We can do better.

I challenge us all to push open a space in our hearts and minds find out what keeps us from doing better, so we can fix it and do better.  Stop clutching those antique pearls in righteous indignation. Because the other that you point your fingers at now may be you one day.

Time is running out.

Peace.

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