Thirdeyemom

The Meaning of Humanity

Today I have the honor of hosting the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. When asked to come up with a theme, without skipping a beat I decided upon Humanity. Here is my own answer to the question and challenge below. To see the official WordPress Photo Challenge: Humanity and to respond, please click here. 

There is so much conflict and heartbreak in the today’s world: Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Gaza, Ukraine and the raw memories of 9/11 to name a few. Sometimes it makes me wonder what on earth has happened to humanity and compassion for others. Has it all disappeared?

The more I see the world, the more I realize that although people are all different, we are also very much the same. We may speak different languages, have different cultures, religions, values and physical traits, yet we all share common hopes and dreams of love, family and survival.

When I travel, I am inspired to take photographs that show the common humanity of us all. I aim to capture images of everyday people around the world hoping to provoke compassion for others and an understanding of their differences. My favorite photos are the rare ones that capture the raw emotions of others and spark a curiosity about their lives. For me, these images reflect the common humanity the human race shares and creates a connection between us.

Some of my favorite photos of humanity are the ones where I feel as if my photograph is touching their souls like these ones below. 

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I met these two girls inside an unauthorized slum in the heart of New Delhi. Although their clothing was tattered and torn, their eyes were full of joy, innocence and curiosity about the  outside world and a tall, blond-haired blue-eyed woman asking to take their photo. They reminded me of my own children.

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I met this woman in southern Ethiopia at Project Mercy, a not-for-profit relief and development agency working to alleviate human suffering and poverty in Ethiopia. Although she could not read or write or speak the same language, her pride at her handiwork was evident. 

Havana Cuba

I captured this woman sitting in Old Havana, Cuba and was captivated by her. I wondered what she had witnessed during her lifetime through the rise of Castro and the Cuban Revolution. I found the juxtaposition between her weathered skin and the aging tree where she was seated in the heart of Old Havana’s past grandeur, fascinating. 

We live in an interconnected world yet so many people are simply unconnected. Photography can be used as a means to bring the world together.

For this week’s challenge, share what humanity means to you.  It can be one simple photo or an entire collage like below to represent a sea of humanity. Use your imagination.

 What does humanity mean to you?

To enter the challenge, please click here at official WordPress Photo Challenge Site. 

 

 

69 comments

  1. Nicole, you bring so much hope, light and love into our lives. Thank you for being you and showing us the world through your eyes. I am always moved by your words and images and look forward to each one of your posts. With warmest good wishes, as always 🙂

    • Oh Debbie that means so much to me. I really put a lot of thought into this and took my time. It was actually hard to write and figure out but I’m so glad it all turned out!!! 🙂 Thanks as always for your amazing support.

  2. To be honest, you are the perfect host for this week’s challenge – humanity can be felt on every step of the way, reading your posts and enjoying the photos. Inspiring…always!

    • Oh thank you so much. When they asked if I’d host, this was the first theme that came to mind. I have been feeling sad lately about all the hate in the world. We are all people. 🙂

      • I am really happy you came up with this prompt.
        And true…compassion, tolerance and simply being human – all that and quite a few other important things are fleeting a touch on the background of increasing negativity.

    • Oh thank you Sally. I was really excited when I was asked and spent a lot of time thinking about how and what I wanted to say. I’m glad it turned out well! 🙂 Sometimes it is nerve wracking put yourself out there. But it is worth it. 🙂

    • Thanks Lynne! When I get down I remember these photos and the people I’ve met. When life can seem sad or hopeless it is good to remember the goodness of many others. 🙂

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  4. lolakojane

    Captivating photos…well done and how wonderful to see the photos on this week’s photo challenge. I have not participated in a while, but you inspired me to do so, Nicole. The girls from New Delhi are beautiful.

  5. Stunning: those two young girls, particularly the one on the right, has a wonderful impish quality and yes, their eyes are full of wonderment and joy. The final image of the woman walking with the basket on her head, beckons you to follow with the hope of knowing her story – beautiful. And thank you for your lovely comment on my take on humanity… Jen

    • Thanks Jen! I appreciate it. I still think of those two girls, even now. It was a really wonderful day when I met them and as a mother of a daughter around that age, it was even more heartwarming for me.

  6. Shelly Tennyson Taylor

    You captured more than humanity here, you can feel the soul and life in these pictures. Beautiful!

  7. The world definitely needs more peaceful means of communicating with one another, your photos underscore that, I think. Thanks for sharing them, well done!

  8. Congratulations Nicole on being chosen to host the WordPress challenge. Your theme comes straight from your heart. Thank you for your ongoing work in showing us humanity from the corners of the earth.

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  10. I love the photo of the old woman in Havana, and the flowers in her hair. Such a youthful, hopeful thing to do. Such a feminine thing to do. It transcends cultures, ages and socio-economic status. I think I shall wear flowers in my hair from now on.

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  12. It is my honor to join the theme you shared with us. You must be a good people as well as a good photographer cause people in your photos seem to have a deep connection with the one who captured their images.

  13. Your words just nailed it. It is so true. I believe that this world is evolving and till the time, compassion is there among hearts, we are there to live and enjoy our blessed lives. I have read in Bhagvad Gita, the holy scripture of Hindus, that compassion is the ultimate gift that a human can give to his fellow being. And that according to me all about humanity. Your photos are so lovely and each of them has a strong, moving story.

    I feel so glad to mention that currently, i am living in Minneapolis with my wife – in your state. I would love to connect with you and talk more over this, as i run a non-profit organization in India for the education of underprivileged children in Hyderabad and Bangalore. Kindly let me know.

    Do visit my post as well, which shows the joy we have been able to share with the children through the work of our organization. Thanks a lot.

    http://suyashchopra.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/humanity-thy-name-is-aashayein-foundation/

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  15. Was a great topic Nicole. Traveling certainly gives you the opportunity to see Humanity in all it’s glory, struggles, disppointments, hopes. And I think we come out the better for it on the other side.

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