5.8
December 22, 2014

Photos of an Era.

yazidi

Armed 14 year old Yazidi girl leaves Mt. Sinjar, Iraq after attacks by ISIS

 

Our Human Symphony.

These photos, these words have me aching, pulling back my tears.

One of the inspirational sources for the text: Charlie Chaplin: A Truly Epic Speech. Worth watching.

From All Quiet on the Western Front, a pretty good explanation for the hate and grief we can cause one another:

“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another. I see that the keenest brains of the world invent weapons and words to make it yet more refined and enduring. And all men of my age, here and over there, throughout the whole world see these things; all my generation is experiencing these things with me. What would our fathers do if we suddenly stood up and came before them and proffered our account? What do they expect of us if a time ever comes when the war is over? Through the years our business has been killing;— it was our first calling in life. Our knowledge of life is limited to death. What will happen afterwards? And what shall come out of us?”

Photos, text: Imgur.  “Humanity.”

The way of life can be free and beautiful.

The way of life can be free and beautiful.
Protester and riot police crying together Sofia, Bulgaria, 2013.

But we have lost the way.

But we have lost the way.
Man falling from the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls – has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls – has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
Orthodox priest attempting to prevent a clash between protestors and police in Kiev, Ukraine, 2014.

We think too much and feel too little.

We think too much and feel too little.
Man finding out his brother was just killed.

More than machinery we need humanity.

More than machinery we need humanity.
After following them for miles, the puppy was picked up and carried in a Marine’s drop pouch.

More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.

More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.
Marine Sergeant Frank Praytor feeding a two-week old kitten after her mother was killed.

Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
After saving thousands of lives during the Mumbai serial blasts of March 1993 by detecting more than 3,329 kgs of the explosive RDX, 600 detonators, 249 hand grenades and 6406 rounds of live ammunition, Zanjeer was buried with full honors in 2000.

Don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty.

Don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty.
A rose offered from an anti-government activist to a soldier in Bangkok, Thailand, 2013.

You are not machines.

You are not machines.
Ohio track athlete helping an injured competitor across the finish line at a state meet.

You are not cattle.

You are not cattle.
Afghan man giving tea to U.S. soldiers.

You have the love of humanity in your hearts.

You have the love of humanity in your hearts.
A women lying in the Nazi Ghetto starving to death in Warsaw, Nazi-occupied Poland, 1941.

In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
After serving in Iraq for seven months, Terri Gurrola is reunited with her daughter.

We all want to live by each other’s happiness…

We all want to live by each other’s happiness...
Young boy giving a heart-shaped balloon to riot police in Bucharest, Romania, 2012.

…not by each other’s misery.

...not by each other's misery.
After finding her inside his destroyed Alabama home following a tornado in March, 2012, Greg Cook hugs his dog Coco.

We don’t want to hate and despise one another.

We don’t want to hate and despise one another.
Russian soldier playing a piano in Chechnya, 1994.

We all want to help one another, human beings are like that.

We all want to help one another, human beings are like that.
Concentration camp prisoner learning of her liberation in 1945.

You the people have the power…

You the people have the power...
Woman in Egypt, 2013, protecting a wounded man from military bulldozers.

…the power to create machines…

...the power to create machines...
Inside of an Auschwitz gas chamber.

…the power to create happiness.

...the power to create happiness.
Heart surgeon after a successful heart transplant that took 23 hours. His assistant is sleeping in the corner.

You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful…

You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful...
Corporal Yukio Araki, age seventeen, holding a puppy with four other young men of the 72nd Shinbu Corps the day before their departure on a Kamikaze mission in Okinawa.

…to make this life a wonderful adventure.

...to make this life a wonderful adventure.
Boy running after his father in New Westminister, Canada on October 1, 1940.

We are all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices.

We are all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices.
A starving boy and missionary.

Some are on a grand scale…

Some are on a grand scale...
Man stuffing flowers into soldiers’ guns.

…most of these choices are on lesser points.

...most of these choices are on lesser points.
Christians protecting Muslims during prayer in the midst of the 2011 riots in Cairo, Egypt.

But we define ourselves by the choices we have made.

But we define ourselves by the choices we have made.
Alcoholic father with his son.

We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices.

We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices.
Couple found embracing in the rubble of a collapsed factory.

Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly.

Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly.
Woman crying amidst the wreckage caused by a massive earthquake and tsunami in Natori, Japan, March 2011.

Human happiness does not seem to have been included in the design of creation.

Human happiness does not seem to have been included in the design of creation.
12 year-old Brazilian boy Diego Frazão Torquato, playing the violin at his teacher’s funeral.

It is only we, with our capacity to love that give meaning to the indifferent universe.

 It is only we, with our capacity to love that give meaning to the indifferent universe.
Sunset viewed from Mars. (Titles compiled from speeches made by Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator and Professor Louis Levy in Crimes and Misdemeanors.)

 

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