Priceless Perspective

A couple of months ago I was told a story that I feel is important enough to share.  It’s happy and sad at the same time.

The founding president of my company is an elderly man who has always given to his community. He is a devout Christian and devoted to his church. He came into the office one day and asked if we, my coworker and I, wanted to see the new pictures his homeless friends had taken.  The pictures were beautiful shots of Chicago but I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by “homeless friends”. He went on to tell this story….

“Every Thursday we invite these homeless folks into our church but once a year we have a special meeting. We ask them if there is anyone here who would like a camera to take pictures of what they see daily. They’re just little disposable cameras but they can bring the cameras back and some members of the church, who are in photography, develop them for free. Then they pick out the best ones and have them put on sale. We have a show and invite them back.  They get all dressed in the best they have and stand next to their pictures all proud. They know I’m a buyer, so as soon as I walk in they always ask, ‘Hey Dr., do you like my picture?’ and I always end up buying a handful.”

He wasn’t lying either, he is a buyer, because he had at least 10 prints in his pile and we already have a hallway dedicated to the pictures he has bought in the past. My immediate reaction was awe, I couldn’t believe the story behind these pictures, but then it turned to sadness. I had been a critic and had judged a book by its cover. I walk this particular hallway at least 10 times a day. I have worked at this company for almost 3 years. Up until this story, I had always questioned why they had these particular pictures hanging. They gave the wrong impression, there is such nicer quality out there, why not something better. After hearing the background story I felt childish, and hurtful.

I now look at these pictures and smile, because they are beautiful, in every aspect of the word. All I can see now is the perspective that has been captured. That even in some of these individuals darkest days they were still able to capture life in all of its beauty. It truly is amazing.

Just one example

Perspective is everything


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JLLopez1006
    May 09, 2012 @ 09:23:17

    As usual, I am in love with your blog posts. Normally I don’t like “feel good” stories, but this is powerful. What a unique and wonderful idea to give people dignity and a chance to exercise their “voice” and perspective.

    You may want to check out Nikki Sixx’s “This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life Through The Distorted Lens Of Nikki Sixx” to see some other beautiful, striking, and sad photography of those who do not live up to this world’s standards. Thanks for the touching post.


  2. I'm Pretty Even...
    May 10, 2012 @ 06:51:43

    Well thank you so much! I thought there was something “special” in this story and I’m glad you felt it too.
    I will absolutely be getting that book in the future. I read a quick excerpt and it was really fascinating. This would totally have been something I would have passed in the bookstore. I’m so glad you shared it with me.


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