While I was traveling I overheard two statements that made me sad:
“I can’t believe how stupid humanity is.”
“People are just naturally cruel.”
I heard two people say those statements in the same day, and for some reason, instead of letting them be random words murmured by strangers in passing, they stuck with me. I wrote them down in my notebook and really thought about them. I thought about all of the horrible things people have done, and all of the senselessness that seemingly goes into decisions that turn out terribly. I felt down that day. I felt like those words got into my head.
Here is the problem with allowing negativity inside: it clouds the good stuff.
The next day I had forgotten all about what those people said, and when I was out for a walk I watched someone help an older woman up some steps at the subway station. Someone held a door for me even and I hardly even noticed. My suitcase got stuck on a curb and a stranger picked it up for me. I gave my leftovers to a homeless person.
And then it struck me: Yes, people can be cruel and people can make poor decisions, but that does not make people universally blanketed by those qualities. I started thinking about the amazing things people do for one another every day. About the way that if we did focus more on the good, we might come to define people based on those attributes.
If we show others more kindness, we might see more kindness in the world.
We are an innovative people. We are always imagining and doing more and creating. To think only of the negative contributions we’ve made is to take away the probability of something changing. If you always scold a dog for doing bad things but never reward them for doing good, how will they know to keep doing those good things? We must remind ourselves of our powerful we are, and use that power to swing ourselves over to the good side.
When I was creating this image I couldn’t help but think about the concept of how powerful our minds are when we allow them to be. From being kind and compassionate creatures to using the little machines in our heads to create amazing art or build an amazing piece of technology, we have the most infinite potential – more than we could ever tap into. Let the magic come from within. Let it envelop you. Let it overcome all other senses. And use it for good. Good art. Good actions. Goodness.
Lucas Magalhães Cardoso - It’s funny to read this, considering that I made yesterday a fine art piece inspired by that dark version that lies inside each one of us. I agree with you that evil is not born, it’s created and it’s up to us not to let negativity stuck in our heads.
The picture I made yesterday is here: http://lucasvscardoso.tumblr.com/post/129297849190/the-monster-within-by-lucas-cardoso-the
It’s the first time I’ve worked with a concept that I really felt the need to do so. I’d be very happy if you see my photo and share your thoughts with me.
Anyways, Brooke, you’re the most inspiring photographer I know. Thank you for all your kindness. I love the concept of this post.
Paulo Carvalho - The human being always have the tendency to value too much the negative actions. Positive, it seems they are insignificant! It is true that there is much human being evil, but there are also many beautiful and kind people. Few days ago one of my friends commented that a lady had fallen on the street and stood there, outstretched, not moving, and people passed by and did not help. Inclusive, there were young boys that laugh at the situation. My friend was the only one to help. Of course, the following comments are exactly like the ones you heard. Yesterday a man fell near me and quickly there were, including me of course 🙂 , a group of people to help him. Probably if I comment this situation, In the end, no one goes saying something like, “I believe in human education” or “people are naturally kindness”. I totally agree with you! xoxo
Ellie Chavez - I’m so thrilled to see this post by you, Brooke! I try and think the best in people and in humanity as a whole, and sometimes a lot of people say that’s my biggest fault. This makes me feel a whole lot more secure in that way of thinking.
Thank you for your words, and for the photo. It’s magnificent. <3
FIT BMX - Good post! 🙂