My favorite places to travel and capture images are those where life is still simpler and where basic living is the color of the day. In those places color is celebrated not managed and there is a refreshing freedom of whimsical mix and match.
There are still places in this world, where hard labor is a way of life. The formidable Hani women build their own homes, plant and sow their own rice fields, slaughter their own animals for food and gather their own firewood for cooking. All the weight is carried on their backs and supported by their incredibly strong necks for years on end. If the essences of strength and patience were looking for a home on this planet, wouldn’t it makes sense that they would seek these people?
Working children is a concept that is becoming more and more foreign to us in the western world, but in developing countries, young children are often forced to join the work force. I find myself showing these images to my daughter on several occasions when a reality check and a need for the right perspective on life is needed.
These boys were paused near one of the wall murals that UNICEF paints on the city streets to educate children through art. It seems to be the right way to deliver a message, as I saw the children totally absorbed in deciphering the message until they saw me and diverted their attention to act playful for the camera.
I pass them by everyday, migrants from the provinces, on the streets of the city, pulling and pushing, their heavy loads, on bikes and on foot, male and female, old and even older, weariness in their eyes, wrinkles on their forehead, under the Shanghai sky.
And they remind me every single day, that I have it easy, that I should thank my lucky stars, that my small problems are petty, that life could be so much more difficult, and that someone has handed me a great card this time around…
When we have too much to handle, when we take on more than we can cope with, when life pressures us beyond our capacity, when our loads are just too big, we panic, and when we panic, we worry. Worry is a cruel artist, it favors the face for a canvas and its best skill is engraving. Yes, on our forehead, that’s where worry likes to play.