Many times I take a picture instinctively. I don’t know why I take the picture, there is no deliberation, no thought process – I simply lift the camera and shoot. It’s almost second nature for me. My eyes constantly scanning like a tiger on the prowl.
Many times after taking the shot I forget about it, but after uploading to my laptop, I look at it again on the big screen and am overcome by a feeling of utter helplessness and sadness.
This is such a picture. The little boy sitting in the back of the truck in the hot sun.
His job is to load and unload those bags of apples.
What does his expression tell you? A life of menial labour awaits him. No school. No education. No play. No hope.
How can it be? It makes me cry. I am crying now as I type these words. It’s too overwhelming. This place is too much. I empathize with everyone and everything I see – and it is emotionally draining. I am taking too much on. My emotional shoulders can’t carry all this weight.
This poor kid. I imagine what his life is like. Is he happy? Is he abused? Is he mistreated? Is his father, master, employer etc cruel to him. Is he alone in this world? Does he have a mother that loves him? Does he have a family to look after him?
Why – why – why – oh why. How can it be like this? How can there be so much suffering in the world. So much unfairness. We sit in our glass towers in the West and think life is tough because we never got that promotion, or our job is boring, or whatever. But – take a look at this boy. Take a good fucking look at him. Everyday sitting in the back of that truck in the days heat or the winters cold, loading and unloading bags of apples or whatever.
I want to hug him. I want to hug them all. I really want to help them all, you know – I couldn’t give a fuck about my life. But this suffering. It really is too much. I don’t know if I can take any more of all this constant feeling. I wish I could switch off, but these images, these images won’t let me rest.
But I am glad to do what little I can. You know I feel so helpless and pray for a higher power or some eternal justice. I understand the reason why people believe in a god. If they didn’t, how could they make sense of all this? By shifting the big questions: why? how? – to a divinity, you effectively stop worrying about it. It’s all part of god’s plan and you can live your life without any guilt or feeling because it’s in His domain of responsibility. And you can sleep easy. I can’t do this. so I feel the full weight of what I see.
I will continue to bring a little happiness to the few people whose lives I touch. Every single life is a universe entire. We can never win the game of numbers – there are too many people on this planet.
But every smile you create. Every laugh you generate. Every heart you touch. Every single thing you do has the power to kindle a little spark of happiness, love and humanity. Even if it is for an instant. But it don’t matter in the end if it lasts an instant because in the cosmic dance we are all fleeting moments anyway.
We are all fleeting moments.
And I love you all. Love you all I do.
Live. Love. Learn. Explore. And feel.