Most of us need to feel some sort of acknowledgement of our existence. We need to know that we are not only appreciated for who we are, but that someone, or a company, or even an animal, cares about us. The link to a 'matrix' seems archetypal and necessary for our health.
The next level of connection seems to be a search for meaning or fulfillment. We like to feel that our life is unique, that we make someone else's life happy, and that we help move the world forward in some way. This ambition to improve our lives and the lives of those we care about is part of the fabric of our humanity. It is the yin/yang that ties us together. Recognizing and acknowledging this commonality can help smooth over communication barriers and egos.
Photography has been my wedge into this universal. I became aware early on that I enjoyed the experience more than the actual shooting or the subsequent presentation of the images. The obsession with photography is really a deeper addiction to connect and interact with people, animals, the earth or whatever greater force you believe in. This quest may help explain why we feel like shouting for joy after experiencing a rare, beautiful, exciting or life-affirming moment.
Henry David Thoreau spent two years living in the woods by himself at Walden Pond to "live deliberately...and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived". He found meaning in his life by living away from social "distractions", amidst natural settings. Others find their meaning in the midst of society. And still others find it through animals and spiritual rituals.
Click on any or all of the four categories -- People, Animals, Earth, Spirit. to see samples of each "spoke of the wheel".
The Compassion Project has opened many avenues of discussion with viewers and photographers. I hope you find this relevant in some way to your own life, and I look forward to hearing from you.
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