For most of us, the life of those depicted in the images from this NPR article is simply unimaginable. Still, there is an immense beauty about them that is not easily understood. Probably because hardship brings out the absolute best in us. It separates us from our comfort zone that tends to take off the pressure of truly “living life” and pursuing our full potential.
Hardship builds character. It inspires the possiblity of the impossible. It humbles us to the point where our humanity radiates love, forgiveness, and servitude toward our fellow-man and most importantly, God.
I remember flying back from the Middle East in the summer of 2014 and saying to my beloved wife, “I do not feel like I am taking pictures of subjects anymore. I feel like I am photographing the awesome beauty of creation even in the most destitute parts of the world. I feel like I am photographing God.”
And photographingGOD was born. Blessings…
Absolutely Gorgeous Photos Reveal The Beauty In A Hard Life – NPR
I grew up believing I was allergic to cats and dogs. I later learned this was nothing more than a fable fabricated by others to discourage me from wanting a pet. So the TIME story, “Here Are Some Adorable Photos Of Kittens Pouncing” grabbed my tongue and inspired me to write a personal memoir, not about cats per se, but about life.
Fast forward many years later, I found myself wandering into a pet store and buying my first dog. It was love at first sight and every sight thereafter. I could not help but remorse over the years I missed out on this joy as a child. A few dogs later, I married a die-hard cat lover. She was (and is) quite the package and the package included two cats. “But Honey!” I exclaimed. “We can’t take the cats because I am allergic. Just not to dogs.” This was clearly a convenient modification of the childhood fib I grew up with to accommodate my selfish preferences at the time. Dogs over cats. Unfortunately, ignorance won and my wife lost. Relatives got the cats.
How often we let our ignorance, anxieties, and stubbornness get in the way of experiencing so many things this life has to offer. Moreover, these personal shortcomings have a way of occasionally interfering with the joy of others in ways that are rarely measurable. Today, my heart has softened for cats and my wife’s love for them. The photos of these little kittens featured in the TIME article make them so irresistible to me. These little cutie kittens definitely got my heart and my tongue. But, it is my heart and my tongue that makes this story about more than cats. How many of life’s blessings do we simply exclude from consideration for nothing more than a naïve pass? How often are we at a complete loss to truly justify, explain or understand our sometimes baseless feelings, attitudes, and actions?
How many of life’s blessings do we simply exclude from consideration for nothing more than a naïve pass? How often are we at a complete loss to truly justify, explain or understand our sometimes baseless feelings, attitudes, and actions?
The action of avoidance comes at great cost. Many things we avoid, without good and sound reason, will remain an unsolved mystery for the rest of our lives. You may say, “Well, if I don’t care about the mystery, why would I care if it is solved?” Great question and best answered with a question. How many times have you enjoyed something or someone only because you overcame an obstacle of some sort and gave it or them a chance? Perhaps, that date you repeatedly rejected until you caved in and ended up falling in love. Or maybe a food you said you would never try and finally did and became a favorite. A place you said you would never live. A country you said you would never visit. Children you said you would never have and did and they became the pinnacle of your life!
Speaking of children… These little creations need to be the focus of our reconditioning. We need to teach them to be open-minded as often as possible. To have a basis for their thoughts that is rooted in truth. I get bunched up when I ask one of my children “Why?” and they just say “Because! Just because…!” “Just because” is such a weak and lame answer… To ANY question. I suspect we just get tired of adding an untruth to the end any question we simply don’t have a good and substantive answer for.
I wonder how many things I failed to attempt, pursue, or enjoy because I let my attitude get in the way. Unfounded behavior that has no place in a world that screams, “I am remarkably made!”
Oh, how much we miss. Why? Well, I guess because… Just because…
Here Are Some Adorable Photos of Kittens Pouncing – TIME
We are in constant pursuit of the fountain of youth and all things new. When something gets old enough, we discard, retire, or replace it. When something gets worn enough, we polish, enhance, or renovate it. My concern is that we may be losing an appreciation for the precious relics of this earth and moreover, the beauty and richness that resides in age itself.
Photographer Beth Moon successfully uses special techniques to accentuate the age of the world’s oldest trees. One such technique involves extending the camera’s exposure time (i.e., the time that the lens stays open to let light into the camera). By this technique, the resulting image is far more vivid and sharp which amplifies the details and age of the subject. A welcomed effect by this photographer.
“I wonder what would happen to our culture and appreciation for age if we were to embrace and promote the qualities of age rather than spend so much effort hiding it.”
So, we can conclude that the more detail we see in an image, the more the subject’s age, wear, and tear are likely to be amplified. This is really not a big secret at all. In fact, the multi-billion dollar cosmetic industry thrives on reducing human detail. Particularly, but not exclusively, facial detail for example. Unfortunately, the consequence is that we promote an adversity to age when we spend so much time and resources hiding it. It is ironic that we would go out of our way to augment the details in nature. Shouldn’t we pursue the same beauty in ourselves? I wonder what would happen to our culture and appreciation for age if we were to embrace and promote the qualities of age rather than spend so much effort hiding it.
Nocturnal Photographs of the World’s Oldest Trees – Hyperallergic
Congratulations! By clicking this article, you are on your way to conquering the impossible – Your special impossible. The term “impossible” places such a burden on our lives as we grow up being told that more things are impossible than possible and that those things that are possible by someone are simply not possible by us. The reality is the contrary. Each of us has our own possible impossible. However, it requires a self-confidence and more importantly, a strong faith in God who makes all things possible. But how do you put this to work in your life to take on the impossible?
“Each of us has our own possible impossible.”
There are five principles that one must cultivate to pursue the impossible. First, we must surround ourselves with people who encourage us and at least, ignore those around us who seek to bring us down. The great Imangineer, Walt Disney, was told by a former employer that he lacked imagination and creativity. One of the greatest inventors of all time, Thomas Edison was criticized as being to simple-minded to ever accomplish anything of significance. Media mega-mogul, Oprah Winfrey was fired as a local newscaster after being told she was unfit for television. Had any of these people listened to those harsh voices, they would have never achieved what everyone else thought was impossible by them.
Second, know that failure is not an option, it is a requirement. Failure is the mother of invention, truly. You have heard, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Well, we must take measured risk to have measurable success. And the more “lean” failures we have, the more we learn and the closer we get to achieving the impossible.
“…failure is not an option, it is a requirement.”
Again, Thomas Edison, who in spite of thousands of significant patents, was most known for his invention of the light bulb. What most people do not know is that it took 1,000 failed attempts at the invention until he got it right. Had he been discouraged at any of the failures between 1 and 1,000, we would not have light, at least not by him.
Third, is the reality of adversity. You might be reading this in the midst of a great loss, an inability to cope, extreme challenges and distress and saying “I can not even see the potential of the day much less do the impossible.” Well, I have great news for you. Adversity can be your friend. The simple fact is that when you have nothing to lose, you have everything to gain.
“Adversity can be your friend.”
JK Rowling, the famed author of the Harry Potter series, was destitute, dependent on welfare while raising a young daughter, and suffering from clinical depression when after five years of perseverance, she became one of the richest women in the world. She credits her trials and troubles as a valuable source for her inspiration. She did fall off the billionaires list because she donates so much of her wealth to people in need. God bless her…
Fourth, when you pursue the impossible, be prepared to experience an emotional juggernaut. Periods as long as weeks and as short as hours will be met with extreme ups and extreme downs. But do not fret. Trust in God. Enjoy and savor the journey. You will overcome and be surprised by your progress as you look back with clarity. Just place your trust in God.
“Trust in God.”
Which brings us to the fifth and most important principle. Believe in yourself… But place all your faith in God. For your impossible is that which God made possible only by you. Blessings…
Through adversity, life is lived. This may be easier said than appreciated. However, I have said it myself and truly believe it. But, what does Mr. Duley’s amazing story and perspective say about it. Well, it says a lot and more than I can say. This is a story where the less I say, the more that is said. This is a must read; On a daily basis. Bless you Giles Duley…
Photographer Giles Duley calls the bomb that cost him both legs and an arm a ‘blessing.’ “I understand what it is to suffer from war,” the 44-year-old said as he sipped tea with a family of Syrian refugees in Mafraq, Jordan. “But you know it’s a blessing, because now I understand the people. I understand their stories more.” read more at nbcnews.com
Adversity is a Season with a Reason. Adversity shapes us. Molds our character. Makes us dependent and human. Most importantly, adversity brings us closer to our Creator which provides us with supernatural potential to overcome anything. Never forget as you go through seasons of adversity, that with God, all things are possible and your current trials have a blessed place and purpose in your life.