EDITOR’s NOTE: Cross-posted at GoingPro2011.com
Is there a bear sitting between you and your boat? Be patient. Things change.
I spent a few hours with a friend last week who has fallen on hard times. He’s lost his job, his home and his girlfriend. Many of his old “friends” have abandoned him since he no longer can afford to take them out for fun. In short, he has every single reason in the world to be depressed. To my surprise, he was in a great mood during our chat. As we talked more and more, it became apparent to me why he felt that way.
He said he’d come to realize that his wealth wasn’t in fast friends or cars or homes but rather in all the people, places and things he’d photographed during his lifetime.
As photographers, we have a unique view of the world. We capture moments in time that non-photographers rarely notice. In these moments, we have treasures that are far more valuable than gold. When you think about it, we get a double blessing. We’re allowed to capture these moments. Whether they be special occasions like weddings or sporting events, wildlife in their natural habitat, or majestic settings like the Grand Canyon or the Colorado River below it, we get to be there. That alone gives us riches that many with money never find. In addition to just being there to record our own memories, we get to record them for posterity as well. This is a true gift.
We have our memories and nobody can take them from us. These tremendous experiences are our treasure, regardless of our financial condition. We get to share these memories with others. We get to preserve them for those who come after us. In effect we get to “will” these memories to the next generations.
If all your “wealth” is tied up in land, property and toys, yet you never get to know what we photographers know – i.e., the pure emotional high of being at a moment that we captured forever, then you aren’t as rich as you think you are. We have our memories of living these moments with the people, places and things we photograph. No matter what happens to us financially, those memories, and the pictures that preserve them – they are invaluable.
My friend taught me a valuable lesson. I hope it helps you too.