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Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed

“What would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared?”

Mikhail Bulgakov

(6 photos)

BOY ON A BOAT
BOY ON A BOAT

Last week the world was full of light as the new year dawned full of promise. This week, we were once again cast into the shadows of terrorism, this time in France. The 24-hour news channels broadcast every moment of disquiet, and when there was no news to report they filled the time with conjecture.

BOY WITH A BOWL
BOY WITH A BOWL

“Shadows retreat to hidden places, only to return in the wake of the war between dark and light.”

Steven Erikson

It would have been nice to have a few more weeks of joy before the shadows of fear and extremism were once again upon us, but sadly it was not to be. Why then focus my response to this week’s challenge “shadowed” on the children? Because they are the future. They are the ones who will decide whether to emphasize our differences rather than our commonality,  to make war rather than seek peace, to accept hate as a given, or not. They will be the survivors who fight the battle for a world bathed in light or consumed by shadows. So what shall we teach them?

SUFFER THE CHILDREN
SUFFER THE CHILDREN

“Shadow is Light’s child.”

Anne Hamilton

For those who travel, it becomes obvious that poverty and despair are often situational. To have been born into a free country, to parents who love us and teach us that life, if not exactly fair, is what we make of it, is an incredible stroke of pure luck . For those like these children, born into different circumstances, perhaps that lesson is a bit more difficult to absorb.

DREAMING OF A BETTER WORLD
DREAMING OF A BETTER WORLD

“Some things are ill to hear when the world’s in shadow.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

Let me be very clear, I believe the actions of the terrorists in Paris are pure evil. I find myself wondering how it will all end. Is there no way to stop the escalating horror? (Personally I think the end of 24-hour news and talk shows would be a step in the right direction, but that’s just me.) But I digress….

BOY WITH A BIRDCAGE
BOY WITH A BIRDCAGE

“Each of us has an equal amount of shadow and light buried in our souls.”

Taylor Chackowsky

In my opinion – for what it’s worth – the answer lies with the children. We can teach our children the importance of understanding and of generosity. We can teach them to consider what life must be like for those who face each day without the most basic of necessities – food, shelter, and love. We can teach them that hate and fear are not the answers that will remake the world. We can hope that as globalization becomes more prevalent and the world becomes ever smaller, they will find a way to create opportunity and hope for the less fortunate among us.

THE FACE OF LOVE
THE FACE OF LOVE

“You don’t find light by avoiding the darkness.”

S.Kelley Harrell

I chose specifically to close with a capture of a child surrounded by love, in the firm belief that there is still hope. We cannot wave a magic wand and change the world. We cannot engender change by avoiding the darkness. We cannot stop terrorists from hating. But we can teach our children the value of caring and of sharing. We can help them to understand that terrorists use a warped version of religion as their justification, which doesn’t mean that religion is bad, only those who distort it. We can show them by example that helping those in need may stop innocent children from becoming tomorrow’s terrorists. Yes, I recognize that there will still be those who hate. But perhaps there will be fewer of them, with less powerful recruiting capability.

With thoughts of sadness for those who lost their lives, and even more for those who loved them, I wish you peace. Together may we find a way out of the shadows sooner rather than later.

 

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110 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed Leave a comment

  1. These photographs speak for themselves, Tina. They are a powerful visual narrative of despair and hope. It’s tragic that children, the only hope for a better future, are often the most affected ones in these human-made disasters.

    • Tragic is the right word for it Uday. They are victims of circumstance, which seems so unfair. We can only hope their future is brighter than it seems from where we sit. thank you for your visit and comment.

  2. This is such a beautifully written post Tina, and I think you have addressed the hope of the world at its core: “they will find a way to create opportunity and hope for the less fortunate among us” ~ this is this beautiful, simple dream that children hold. This pure love that children have is what they can teach us all, and your words (and tremendous photos) capture this so well. Wonderful post ~ important post.

    • Thank you Randall. It’s so easy to feel its hopeless when following stories like last week’s but hope,springs eternal and globalization may help to show the next generation the importance of sharing and caring.

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