Nick David Wright

Living well, laughing often, loving much.

Posts Tagged ‘People

Helping people

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I recently watched the movie “Unbreakable” again and a certain bit caught my attention.

Bruce Willis is explaining to Samuel Jackson that everyday he feels depressed. Jackson responds that he believes Willis feels this way because he is not fulfilling his destiny by helping people.

This little exchange in the movie struck a chord with me, because I often battle with depression about the direction my life is heading. I often feel as though I am wasting my life. And I’ve recently been wondering if I didn’t feel this way for exactly the same reason as in the movie.

Not that I’m a superhero or anything, but I love helping people.

It can be as simple as helping a customer find the product they were looking for, but the excitement of it can — I kid you not — give me goosebumps. I look for ways to help people everyday. But I want it to be more of my life than it is. I want to be the kind of person that when calamity strikes, I can hop a plane and be there helping people. The recent situation in Haiti comes to mind.

I also think this is why I have such a love/hate relationship with photojournalism. That profession has such a powerful potential to help, but it also has a great potential for harm as well. I wanted to use my photography to help, even if it was just giving someone a pretty picture to look at on the front page.

But that’s not really what sells newspapers. So more often than not I found myself shoving my lens into folks’ disasters, into the face of their grief. And yes I understand that in some macabre way that can actually help by raising other people’s awareness of a crisis, but it’s not something I feel good about.

So I thought, well if I went to Haiti to photograph the disaster I would focus on the recovery efforts instead of people’s loss. But what I realized was that I’d much rather be the person hauling cases of bottled water to people in need instead of the person photographing the person hauling cases of bottled water to people in need.

The problem is that I don’t know how to do this. The kind of life I’ve chosen to live doesn’t earn much money, and I prefer it that way. But that means that I can’t just hop on a flight to haul cases of water. So how can I make my dream of helping a reality?

Written by Nick David Wright

January 18, 2010 at 5:00 am

Posted in Thoughts

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