Regardless if you have a great life or one full of challenges, it's part of a greater whole.
Changes in our family, friends, community, state, and country affect both our heads and our hearts. Some mornings a cup a coffee is an unparalleled joy, while others it's required just to take the first steps into the day.
Most of this I cannot control. I was not ready for my father to pass, I do not like Americans fighting each other, and I certainly don't want foreign powers interfering in our affairs.
Common sense says that if you cannot change the situation, adjust your reaction to it. This has been my guiding light, and photography is part of it. If I attempt to create something beautiful in the face of ugliness, then I have made the world a better place.
Think about it. If we responded in part to self-interest, hate, and the random acts of nature with a beautiful photograph, a caring note, or inspiring song, who wins: darkness or light?
The numbers are on the side of light. If you look at the news, there's a relatively small band of miscreants creating havoc for society at large. I think a conservative estimate would be that light outweighs dark 4 to 1. How many troublemakers do you personally know?
Things go south when we give in to our emotions and let ourselves temporarily cross the line to the other side. But what if that wasn't our response? What if, instead, we made a photograph that emoted beauty, then shared it? Yes, I know that we're not going to fix the world by making pretty pictures and writing songs. But we certainly will make it more liveable.
Art heals both the artist and the patron.
Reach for your camera, manuscript, piano. The things you create will balance your life, and someone else's as well.