History has a way of repeating itself unless we learn from the past. This could be the Horn of Africa today. Here’s the story behind this picture which haunts those who have seen it.
While covering the 1993 famine in the Sudan, a photojournalist wandered into the open bush trying to escape the horror of the area. Hearing a soft, high-pitched whimper, he saw a tiny girl trying to make her way to a United Nations feeding center about a mile or so away. As he crouched to take her picture a vulture landed in view. Careful not to disturb the bird, he positioned himself for the best possible image-adjusted his lenses-then waited about 20 min. hoping the vulture would spread its wings – wouldn’t that be a great picture? The bird didn’t cooperate so he went ahead and took some pictures.
Are You A Spectator?
He won a Pulitzer Prize for this photo, a heart-wrenching image that captured perfectly the inhumane conditions in the Sudan. But with his acclaim – also came public scrutiny. Some compared him to the vulture – waiting 20 min. to take the perfect shot then doing nothing to help this little girl. Even friends wondered why he would choose to remain a spectator to her suffering. A peer described it as the photojournalist’s dilemma, to be a spectator or a savior. But before we judge him, we need to think about how many times we’ve chosen to remain a spectator to a situation, how many times have we’ve rationalized our choices and convinced ourselves there’s nothing we can do or should do - how it’s not up to us to help. The truth is - we ALWAYS have a choice. Right now,
the Choice is yours. . .
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