Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

This week’s photo challenge asks us to share our definition of humanity.   As a writer, I never tire of exploring what it means to be human.  I am fascinated by dictators who wield tremendous power over others, start world wars, and yet reveal devastating weaknesses in their private lives.  I am equally drawn to “ordinary” people, who in their quiet way, reveal great courage and conviction despite overwhelming odds.

Today, I’ll share with you a collection of photos.  Most of them are children, who inherit the gifts of our collective wisdom,  foolishness, prejudices, and strengths.

We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings.–Albert Einstein

Rectangles, circles, diagonal lines, and lovely asymmetrical children's faces!

Children’s faces framed in an Art Prize entry, 2012

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.
Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

Shoot the Rapids, Summer 2013

Shoot the Rapids, Grand Rapids, MI, Summer 2013

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.–Henri Nouwen
Piano Lesson, Lincoln Center, New York

Piano Lesson, Lincoln Center, New York

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.–Joseph Addison
Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, Chicago, IL

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, Chicago, IL

Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Boy on the run, Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids, MI

Boy on the run, Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids, MI

And finally, here’s an image taken this week.  Ryan Foster’s entry in this year’s Art Prize competition is called “Temporary Landscapes and Permanent Clouds” is a perfect “finale” to this post.  Composed of over a hundred tiny but detailed faces,  it visualizes the great diversity of our human family and our collective triumphs and struggles on this dizzying roller coaster ride of life.  For more information about the artist and his work, click here.

World belongs to humanity, not this leader, that leader or that king or prince or religious leader. World belongs to humanity.–Dalai Lama

The Human Family, Art Prize 2014

Ryan Foster, a segment of “Temporary Landscapes and Permanent Clouds,” Art Prize 2014

Do  you agree that humanity has the capacity for great goodness as well as evil?  How can we come to terms with this?  And thanks as always, for sharing your thoughts!

To see great interpretations of this week’s theme, click on the links below:

19 replies »

  1. Wonderful photos, Patti. They showcase the theme perfectly. I like the quotes sprinkled throughout too. As a writer, humanity fascinates me, so many different personalities that make up the whole, just like in the painting. I love to explore that in my stories.


  2. Great collection, Patti. I liked the girl playing piano very much; she is cute.
    I also liked the painting, I think the painting depicts the true meaning of humanity- bringing all human beings together, making them into a big giant tree.


    • Hi Norma. Thanks so much. The little girl is adorable. It reminds me of the thrill of making “music” when you are very young! And the painting is just a small part of a larger piece. The detail is amazing. I appreciate your kind thoughts!–Patti

      Liked by 1 person

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