It pangs my heart to say this yet, I saw it in FULL EFFECT yesterday as I made my way through Manhattan, or in particular, Times Square. It even occurred as i sipped on my drinks at the Jeckyl and Hyde Club. People and their cameras, WTF. As a photographer, I make my living behind the lens and yet I know when to put it down. I no longer shoot whatever I am eating and I am not keen on photographing people unless there is a purpose.
Yesterday, I documented a bit of NY Life while being a tourist. I photographed a Pizza Delivery person on a bicycle and people selling food from carts. I also photographed the lights and buildings of the Times Square area, however, I did NOT disrupt someone’s conversation by taking a photo of them as someone did to me and a young woman yesterday. She was in costume at her place of employment, so I understand that her job requires a bit of that, however, to disrupt another customer’s experience by photographing them as they were talking? WTF??? NO BITCH! I was VERY upset by that. I also did my best to be aware of where I was and not injure someone while trying to take a photo. I actually put my camera away and just embraced where I was. I looked with my eyes and not my lens. It was something to behold, something that connected all of my senses to where I was and what I was doing.
It makes sense now, it all makes sense. Taking photos is ok, but when all you do is take photos to make memories instead of just being, it’s not cool. Sometimes, putting the camera down and just being in the moment is a far cooler experience than having the photo. The photos help, but they don’t make the memories.
The other thing which I also found disturbing is how people constantly are on their screens. While at J&H, I saw people who were with OTHER PEOPLE at tables engaging with their screens and not each other. I found it quite disturbing because it was pointless for the other person to be there if they were not engaging in a moment. We live too much behind our screens and that does bother me. Myself and the young ladies who worked and conversed with me at J&H Club agreed on how bothersome it was.
I want face to face interaction with people. I find that more stimulating than anything. For someone to be at the table with me and constantly on their screen? Is quite disrespectful and mean. What’s the point of being together if one is not present in the moment.
Another cool thing? It was actually at the Jeckyl and Hyde club that I saw a few things. 1. Although J&H Club is a touristy/character type of thing, the simple facts that they teach moral lessons (don’t judge a book by its cover and embrace the moment with ones eyes) and 2. some science, literature, history and music lessons to those who partake in a meal at the club is a blessing. Yesterday they had the story of the Elephant man and fondly enough, it taught a lesson about seeing what a person looks like on the inside instead of seeing the outside of the person. Whether anyone else caught that? I don’t know. I brought it up to the staff and they were shocked to see that someone observed that. It made me sad to realize that other folks may have missed that lesson.
Lastly, kindness is one of the coolest things ever. Having an attitude and being bitchy just to be bitchy? YUCK! Showing a genuine interest in people can get a lot of stuff done and boy, it got stuff done yesterday. I realized that yes/no ma’am/sir, please and thank you are truly lost among the folks. I talked to people, I said yes ma’am, no sir, thank you, please, sorry and excuse me. I think it shocked some people and if it did… that scares me. To think that manners have gone along with the idea of embracing the moment? It truly scares and saddens me.
I say… let’s bring those things of kindness, manners and embracing the moment into the forefront. Let’s just BE and put away our cameras just for a moment so we can truly observe what is going on! Let us be joyous and kind to each other and maybe, just maybe, the world may find some peace.
I thank you for reading this and I wish peaceful blessings unto you all! Namaste and Jah Bless!!!