No job, no matter how good it looks from the outside looking in, is perfect. No life, no matter how much it might seem to the contrary, is perfect. It just might be that perfection doesn’t exist and our constant search for it, only to be let down, could have contributed to Henry D. Thoreau penning the oft-repeated quote:
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
Maybe not. But it was on my mind when I began to observe this young girl in the Flacq Market in Mauritius this month. There was a very quiet, resigned desperation about her that haunts me even now as I look at this photograph again.
One of the most poignant truths I’ve discovered in my travels is that we do have a choice to be happy. It’s more like a switch that we actually have the capability to flip. Yet it also isn’t always that simple because what our lives appear to be, are rarely ever the full truth and most of us carry a weight around that isn’t obvious, but over time can seep over the edges of the cup to reveal itself as quiet desperation. Or just, brutal anguish that causes people to jump off bridges and stick their heads in ovens and make choices that have no undoing……….
But IF we reach out, as we’re traveling, if we smile more. Close ourselves off less. Learn a new language so we can interact more thoroughly with locals… if we just remember that everyone we meet is a human being with the same basic needs that we ourselves have, I think the world would be a far far better place.
I wish I’d taken the time to talk to this girl in the market. And not just captured her photograph.
Every time I look at it, is now a reminder to myself to do better next time.