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I'm afraid I've made so many missteps and errors that I'm not so optimistic in my personal life ... but my world view has never really changed .... it's full of goodness and change .... and that's why I'm looking again at this image of children at play that I made several years ago ... I was living just two blocks from Ground Zero in NYC .... and happened across this playgroup of kids in a nearby park .... The scene was just captivating ….their faces were filled with such joy and happiness that I couldn't help but try to capture those pure feelings I saw .... almost by instinct I shot off my camera and later worked to make an image that expressed the essence of the purity and joy and hope that I saw that day ….

 

I just don't understand all of the hate and suffering and divisiveness in this world ... I don't understand all of the anger and disunity and mistrust in our country right now .... It's just anathema to every value I believe in and hold dear .... mostly that we're all members of the same Human Family .... and that the mosaic of our differences only serve to make us more interesting and more beautiful .... Unfortunately there are too many folks around us here and worldwide that don't believe in and recognize that truth ... and it's that worldview blindspot that's causing all the anger and suffering in our midst .... but I see in the face of every child I photograph the hope for the future ... I see only pureness and good in them ... and that's how I can be optimistic for our future .... We see now only the narrow view filled with rancor and hate ... but the larger view is different and more promising ...

 

The arc of the world's maturing has always leaned towards justice and unity .... and although we can't see it clearly now .... I think all the strife and division and enmity will eventually cause a collapse upon ourselves and mankind will have no choice but to reflect and construct a new direction ... and that direction will be the understanding that we're all members of the same Human Family and citizens of the the same Planet ..... that all of our religions only teach love … and that when we drift too far away from the spiritual teachings of our Faiths we only disrupt and disregard of true course of our natures …. but I see only promise and hope in the face of each child I photograph .... and I just want to end my vision for the future with a Baha'i prayer for children ...

 

"O Thou Kind Lord! These lovely children are the handiwork of the fingers of Thy might and the wondrous signs of Thy greatness. O God! Protect these children, graciously assist them to be educated and enable them to render service to the world of humanity. O God! These children are pearls. Cause them to be nurtured within the shell of Thy loving-kindness."

 

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Taken on July 28, 2008