I can’t help but wonder how Americans would respond, if a disaster of this magnitude hit the U.S. Would we react in fear, and stay there? Or would we too, recover the innate resilience that has been mind-controlled out of us by me-first, drive-by, consumer culture.
My one and only photography teacher once told me, look into the eyes and take a picture, the rest does not matter. I never realized until my time in Nepal how right he was. For the first time in my life I looked directly into the eyes of people afflicted by tragedy.
Strength, hope and resilience stared back at me.
I was expecting to see overwhelming sadness and despair, often the only emotions portrayed in the mass media following a natural disaster, but the reality was different. Sorrow, fear and despair were of course all deeply felt, but in the days after the quake, hope was just as important.
At first, I was hesitant, feeling that I was an intruder into their misery, but I soon found the people to be as warm and welcoming as before. Understanding the importance of reporting the event, I sensed their acceptance of my presence, and their generous spirit.