n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
I spent 10 days living in the heart of the city of Havana, Cuba this past march (2019). It took me a few days to work up the courage to start asking strangers to be in a picture, but the people were so strikingly beautiful that I couldn’t help myself. Almost every person that I approached for a picture became a friend within a matter of seconds. Even as I stumbled through my Spanish with them, I saw that the people here have kind hearts, and creativity that goes beyond anything I have ever known. This adventure in photography taught me that there is so much value in approaching people who look and act and talk nothing like you, and getting to know them.
Reader, I challenge you to really look these people in the eye. And when you walk around your own city, don’t hesitate to do the same. Millions of people are just waiting to be acknowledged as worth your curiosity and attention.
Hit (Command) + (+) a few times if you’re on a computer till there’s 3 images across the screen for the best viewing.