Monday, February 21, 2011

the privilege of following your dreams

After I got the camera with one basic lens, I have been spending a lot of time learning about other lenses and their prices. I can't afford any of it now, I hope I will be able to save for a macro in a few months.
I felt a bit of self-pithy for my poor self, that I had to wait so long before buying a decent camera, even though I love photography and have been told to produce quite good photos.
But then... I do have the camera. And before I could play with a pretty good point and shoot. It's hard, I can't get the high-shelf or multiple lenses... But I have it.

I can only imagine how many people in this country (so OMG developed and rich) can't follow their dreams, passions and talents because of their financial situation. There are no photography classes in public schools where kids could borrow a camera to learn. Free art classes with supplies provided. Free sculpture or lithography classes. Free dance classes of many kinds. My mom dropped out of Academy of Arts because she could not afford the supplies (the school was in Poland, for free, but the supplies not provided). My father dropped out from full-time chemistry studies, because of financial situation. He had to go full time work, and was studying weekends for more profitable industry - mining.

It pains me that access to art and self-expression is still a form of privilege. As if the poor had no passions, dreams, talents and visions. We, as a society, assume they are born to work physically, know their place and keep their heads down. We assume the poor cannot be sophisticated, sensitive, visionary, genius, fascinating human beings. The poor are not allowed to worry about arts or higher thinking. That's luxury. They are not supposed to want to live in a nice places, to have access to beauty in many forms. They are forced to live in ugly housings, ugly and dirty neighborhoods, grey and sad schools.

So I will keep on enjoying my new camera, rejoicing with the chance I have to live my passion. And remember how privileged I am to have it.


  1. It is a privilege isn't it? If someone has access to a computer, a roof over their head, or even attended some sort of school, they are already in a very small minority of the world's population. I think a big part of the apathy or lack of interest in the ails of the poor (e. g. thoughts you've expressed above) are greatly influenced by the individualized, fast-paced, and materialist culture of most western societies.

    It's sad. There are so many people, so many dreams, and so much energy but it sits in the confines of someone's thoughts or lays untapped. I think like you've mentioned, we can be grateful for the things we do have. But also, I think contemplating ways of helping others achieve their dreams and actually doing so will help.

    You reiterated 'we' as a society, as a we being stagnant, but I also think 'we' are also a great force when individuals choose to no longer be passive. Even the 'little things' make a difference, or so I have found. Just caring makes a difference ...

    Oh, and I like the posts you have here. :)

  2. Thank you, Allie.
    I am a big believer in free education - not just science and literacy, but also arts, sports, media... I think giving kids (and adults) the opportunity to engage for free in serious exploration of own talents, dreams and imagination would help tremendously in fighting with poverty, crime, negativity.