Category Archives: humanity

“photography is telling stories.” – jim spillane

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attending the annual ann arbor art fair

i had great luck and the honor of meeting

photographer/human rights advocate, jim spillane.

i happened by his stall

drawn in by the beauty and subjects of his photographs

especially taken with his pictures of children

after much thought

finally decided on one

a young tibetan child

tiny hands held together in hello.

i asked jim his story

how he had come to take these stunning pictures all over the world.

once a criminal defense attorney in the gerald ford white house

representing vietnam war draft resisters seeking amnesty

he got sick, had a horrible experience

 changed his life

trained with an ansel adams associate

began traveling the world

taking photographs of people

his subject is the human condition and the connections and responsibilities we have for each other.

using his pictures as a way to create interest, open discussion, communicate, call attention to a cause

he has worked taking photographs of workers at a nepalese brick factory for many years

created a photo book of the workers

to speak out and to tell their stories with his photographs

still seeking to help those in need and to be an effective advocate for them.

he is a natural artist, storyteller, teacher, advocate, and man.

“in recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”

-thurgood marshall, former justice of supreme court of the united states

link to his website: jimspillane.com

link to his book, ‘the face of bricks’: https://www.blurb.com/b/9897011-the-face-of-bricks

be like star trek.

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cast of the original star trek series

“star trek was an attempt to say that humanity

will reach maturity and wisdom

on the day that it begins not to just tolerate,

but take a special delight

in differences in ideas and differences in life forms.”

-gene roddenberry -star trek creator

 

image credit: nbc tv

civilized.

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one of my favorite people with a statement that still applies 60 years later

 · “no moral, no message, no prophetic tract, just a simple statement of fact.

for civilization to survive, the human race has to remain civilized.”

-rod serling -1961

 

 

photo credit: cbs television , twilight zone

each other.

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“people fail to get along because they fear each other;

they fear each other because they don’t know each other;

they don’t know each other

because they have not communicated with each other.”

– dr. martin luther king, jr.

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image credit: shutterstock

from the heart.

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walking up to the register

i saw the cashier

a bit of an awkward, gawky type

with kind eyes and a worried face

who didn’t appear to have a lot of self-confidence

having just finished with a customer

he was ready to deal with my order.

his head was down

  i said hello

he looked at me and said

“that last customer told me to smile.

he has no idea how hard it is for me

how hard it is to be here right now

no idea what im dealing with

what i’m going through

how it’s a miracle i’m even here

it would be really hard for anyone

 i have to be here until midnight

this is just the beginning of my shift.”

as he quietly told me this

tears began to slowly roll down his face

 he grabbed a box of tissues to wipe them away

all the while continuing to check me out.

 we bagged my things together

as he went on –

“they told me to hold in my emotions

but i think its okay to show them

what’s wrong with that, i think it’s a good thing?”

when he finished with my order

his manager came over

with a compassionate and not angry face

without a word

took over his register

i thanked him for helping me

 agreed that it’s certainly okay to feel and express things

 told him that i hope things will get better

 he walked off in silence and punched out

i hope that he takes a long break

 goes home for the day

 whatever he needs

 has someone waiting for him who will support him

i don’t think he wanted an answer from me

just wanted me to listen

to acknowledge his humanity

his struggles, his emotions

 tell him that it was okay for him to feel and express them

i hope he is back when i stop in for my weekly grocery shop.

i hope that things are better.

“tears come from the heart and not from the brain.”

-leonardo da vinci