The Eyes of a Stranger

“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts”. – Paramahansa Yogananda

Perhaps even more now than ever the world needs to show compassion and understanding for one another. We need to look directly into each other’s eyes and accept our similarities and differences. I fear a future where people don’t care anymore and are full of apathy and fear. Instead, I want a future where people can look into a stranger’s eyes and feel some bit of hope, understanding and peace.

I don’t know what to tell my children anymore about the front page of the news. I don’t understand all of the death and destruction committed to and by strangers. I feel numb by it. So instead of focusing on all the sadness and fear, I want to illuminate the kindness and hope I feel when I look into a stranger’s eyes and capture them on film. One moment in time. One moment of peace and hope.


Woman in La Paz Bolivia




Havana street musician

Cubans love their music and street musicians dot the landscape.


Children within the camp

Children within the camp pose for a picture






Bete Maryam Monastery Bahir Dar Ethiopia

I bought this small painting for my home.


Mkuru Maasai Training Camp

Jacobo’s dad

I know this may sound silly but I once read that simply giving a smile to a stranger can make a difference. I try my best to remember these words of advice in my busy life and occasionally when I do greet a stranger with a smile, it is always returned and brightens not one but two people’s day.

This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy. 


  1. Such warm and gentle eyes, all of them. And that’s the truth: give a smile and you can be 99.9 per cent sure of getting one back.

  2. Lovely gallery, Nicole. I, too, am a giver of smiles, but I fear there are people such as those you mention to whom a smile it nothing. God protect us from them!


  3. You captured some beautiful moments Nicole. I believe deeply in the balance of good and bad in this duality that we call life. I believe that for every bit of ‘bad’ that is out there there is an equal amount of good. Unfortunately the media focuses mostly on the bad. Don’t let it fool you. Search out and focus on the good all around the world in every community. You, of all people, know it is there. Turn away from the constant barrage of bad news. It does nobody any good.
    with much love,

    • Oh thanks Alison for the beautiful comment! Yes I actually began my blog and reading others blogs in order to find positive news. It drives me crazy how bad awful news is what sells.

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  6. Some truly wonderful captures this week Nicole – your photography has grown by leaps and bounds – especially when you are in love with your subjects and it shines thru!

  7. I think you are so right. It’s difficult the world as it has become – not to mention how to explain it to the new generations. I think hope lays in the fact, that cruelty has always been part of human character, but all in all I think we move towards a better world, albeit very slowly and with big setbacks. You photos are so beautiful and inspiring.

    • Thanks Otto! That is what my husband said too when we talked about life. So let’s keep the hope coming in. The shining lights of brightness and kindness will keep us going.

  8. all lovely photos…and yes, strangers can sometimes be friendly and loving and good. Best to focus on that possibility! You went to CUBA! When, how?

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