Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

When you look at this photo, what do you see? A boy who will one day become a man? An aging woman who once was a young girl?

Bangladesh Poverty2

For me, this photo represents both those ideas — but more than that, it conjures up complicated concepts, like personal growth and the growth of opportunity.

For example, on two different occasions, the woman in this photo has asked me (with actions, not words) to take two children from her family. The first time, she literally tried to put a baby in my backpack. I thought she was kidding. The second time, she pushed this little boy toward me and motioned for me to keep him. That’s when I realized she wasn’t joking. I guess she thinks I can offer them a better life than her family can, but I can’t imagine separating them from their loved ones.

In moments like these, my world view both crumbles and expands.

Growth indeed.

Learn more about the weekly photo challenge at the Daily Post.

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27 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Growth | Just Snaps

  2. The woman senses something in you that leads her to believe she can entrust these children to you. I think she sees kindness and compassion.

  3. Wow. Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Loving your child / grandchild so much that you’d be willing to give him to a stranger in hopes to give him a better future is both touching and tragic. I’m with your dad as far as her intuition… However, as a mom, I can’t even imagine… Beautiful photo, Ang. Powerful post.

    • Thanks, T. There might also be some, “Please take my child and relieve me of the burden of feeding him,” in addition to the, “I love him so much I’m willing to let him go if it means a better life for him.” But here’s the thing: What is a better life? Would having more money but no true family and no exposure to his native culture really make this child happier?

    • Thank you. Yes, I wonder about him, too. He’s so cute. The other day, he was eating a banana. I said, “banana.” He said, “koala,” (presumably the Bangla word for banana). I said, “banana.” He said, “koala.” “Banana … Koala … Banana … Koala … Banana … Koala” And so it went at least 50 times. Adorable.

  4. Pingback: How to Grow a Monkey Patch « the REmissionary

  5. Wow – where do I begin? Let me start with your blogs made me laugh out loud! I’ve had similar (but not the same) experiences in living in a culture that’s a complete 180 to my own… my laughing was laughing at a memory mixed with ‘oh yes… so true! This picture – so poignant – this ‘old’ woman is probably younger than I – and yet my experiences and hardship in life – are nothing… amazing photo. The clarity and colour of it. Just lovely. As for offering your children… I think any mother/grandmother/guardian of a child in a life of extreme poverty and hardship would do anything to put their children onto an easier path. I’m not saying that it would be your first choice to give your little one up – but 3 meals a day, an education and a stable shelter would be a path you would actively seek out — and I think these women are smart enough to realise that their life is just soo hard – they would literally give away their heart rather than watch it suffer.

    I take my hat off to you for your ability to live, observe and relay your experiences to us with such humility, grace and humour. Well done. Looking forward to more.

    • Ohmygoodness. I think I might be blushing. Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your perspective about this photo. I hadn’t quite thought of it that way … you explain it beautifully. I took a look at your blog and just love your photos and writing style. I look forward to seeing/reading more from you as well!

  6. How gorgeous is your work… and your heart. Thank you for living out loud in this way so that the rest of us may learn new perspectives and come closer to our own hearts in this way. And thanks too for visiting my blog… I’m so glad you did so that I can share in your keen awareness. In gratitude.

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