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When we weave the fabric of life together using the invisible thread of humanity, we create a beautiful tapestry.



Please visit each of these photos and read their descriptions and you will discover the story of us. Also make sure that you watch the video that goes with the seventh photo about an amazing woman in Cambodia. You can view that video at this link:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR1FxU_0msI&list=UUa60-Uai8j3FPTCACD5Dndg&index=8&feature=plcp



Thanks for supporting this series!



Paul Garrett

The Invisible Thread of Humanity - Part 1 of 7

When you meet people from all over the world, you begin to learn that there is a common thread that binds us all together. We all come from our unique cultures, yet most of us share the same basic needs. We want to provide for our families and live in peace.



Today I am starting a seven part photo series that celebrates our common humanity through portraits from my many travels.



While visiting the Taj Mahal, my wife (the younger blonde in the center) was approached by this enthusiastic group of women who wanted to have a picture taken with her. Believe it or not, this was a common experience throughout our journey in India and a great way to meet friendly people. Notice the hand on her hair…



Thanks for your comments, votes and friendship!



All the best,



Paul



This was the inspiration for my title:



en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_string_of_fate

The Invisible Thread of Humanity - Part 2 of 7

What if we measured the greatness of a nation not by the size of its armies, but by the quality of the education that it provides for its people?

I photographed these students at a small rural school in Costa Rica that is partially supported by the Grand Circle Foundation. These kids were so excited to meet us and to ask us questions about our lives in the United States. By meeting outsiders, these students have grown socially, and their vision for the future now reaches beyond their community.

Costa Rica, by the way, has not had an army since it was abolished in 1948.

Thanks for supporting this photo series on humanity!

All the best,

Paul Garrett

http://www.grandcirclefoundation.org/

  • March 17th, 2010
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • 80mm / f/5.6 / 1/200 sec

The Invisible Thread of Humanity - Part 3 of 7

It would be neglectful to do a series on our common humanity without examining man’s inhumanity to man. Genocide is a repulsive subject to the average person who wants to live in peace and provide for their loved ones. However, mass killings don’t take place in a vacuum. They are carefully plotted using the “Hegelian Dialectic,” the destabilization of society, the removal of freedoms and the use of fear. In addition, they are allowed to take a foothold because good people remain in denial and do nothing while thinking, “that could never happen here.” This is a preconditioned reaction and a product of national exceptionalism. The fact is that genocide can happen anywhere if you turn a blind eye to its symptoms.



From 1975 to 1979 Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regime waged war against their own people in Cambodia, causing the deaths of an estimated 1.7 to 2.5 million people (Wikipedia, “Killing Fields”).



I took this photo at the infamous Khmer prison of Tuol Sleng in Phnom Penh. Today this former high school and prison is a genocide museum and a reminder of the horrors that were once committed here.



On display in this museum are the photos of prisoners who were interrogated, tortured, and murdered. The pain and fear are still very real to the people who survived the Pol Pot times. In fact, my guide talked in hushed tones when he recounted this history.



Thanks for reading this post and for supporting this series.



Best regards,



Paul Garrett



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuol_Sleng_Genocide_Museum

The Invisible Thread of Humanity - Part 4 of 7

Have you seen Martin Scorsese’s brilliant masterpiece, “Hugo”? It’s a movie about a 12 year old boy who receives the gift of critical thinking (problem solving) and a foundation of love from his attentive father, which prepares him to survive in a cruel world. Hugo not only survives, but is also able to use the “key of love” to unlock the bitter heart of an old man and to make the world a better place.

This brings me to my forth entry in this series on humanity: How many of us travel through life on autopilot lacking self-awareness, just surviving, never questioning reality or why we continue to allow the world to define who we are?

The human mind is essentially a biological computer. We come into this world with an “operating system” that manages our biological functions and gives us our basic instincts. The moment we are born, the people and the environment around us begin downloading programs into our memory system. The child who is not held by his mother receives a program that says, “You are not loveable.” Where as the child who receives love is programmed with a foundation of well-being.

We as parents are tasked with a divine purpose when we bring a child into this world to provide them with the best possible programming to help them to mature, and to flourish and to achieve their God given destiny. Just like Hugo, we can reject the labels that the world puts upon us, we can repair our brokenness and we can help others to rewrite the negative programs that keep them trapped and unable to achieve their purpose in life.

I took this photograph in a small village south of Agra in India.

Thanks for your comments, votes and friendship!

All the best,

Paul

Here's an amazing interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton regarding the programming of the subconscious brain. It is worth your time:

http://youtu.be/M1kW0bHtY38

  • October 23rd, 2010
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • 10mm / f/8 / 1/60 sec

The Invisible Thread of Humanity - Part 5 of 7

The Golden Rule can be found in every major religion and spiritual school of philosophy from Christianity to Buddhism. It is a universal truth that would bring peace and prosperity to humanity if we all put it into practice in our daily lives.



In the Bible, Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself…” Matthew 22.39. The problem is that many of us don’t even love ourselves. This condition is usually rooted deep within painful events that happened to us during childhood, and often requires self-awareness, courage and deep introspection to uproot and neutralize.



The truth is that you are deserving of love, but you have to love yourself before you can love your neighbor. Life is short so do not delay your healing journey, for when you heal yourself you heal the world.



I photographed these people in Seattle, Washington. This homeless man was wrapping his bloody leg with a newspaper when a compassionate stranger stopped to see if she could help him.



Thanks for your comments, votes and friendship!



All the best,



Paul



More quotes regarding The Golden Rule:



http://www.virtuescience.com/golden-rule.html

The Invisible Thread of Humanity - Part 6 of 7

Hopefully the invisible thread of humanity has become visible to you during this series and you are now aware that you share a common connection with all people around the world. Humanity, however, is just one thread in a larger interdependent network, which I will refer to as “The Web of Life.”

We depend heavily upon this web for our own survival, which means that we must learn to live in balance with nature, respecting and preserving the other species that share this planet with us. Whenever a species becomes extinct, another tread in this fragile web of life is lost. If we destroy enough of these, the web will collapse taking humanity with it.

In 1991, Laurie Marker moved from the United States to Namibia to research how farmers can live in harmony with cheetahs. At that time many Namibians feared the cheetah and it was a common practice for them to shoot cheetahs if they found them on their property. Dr. Marker founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund and through scientific research and the education of local farmers, has reversed the decline of cheetahs in Namibia and turned her local community into the cheetah capital of the world. As a result, local farmers have learned to value cheetahs and now live in harmony with them by employing non-lethal practices to protect their livestock that were developed by the Cheetah Conservation Fund. As a result, tourists from all over the world now visit this part of Namibia to see cheetahs, which has greatly improved the local economy.

Every creature has an important place and purpose in this amazing web of life, including apex predators like cheetahs, tigers, cougars, bears, sharks and wolves. Let’s stop fearing and exploiting these animals and learn to appreciate them because our own survival is tied to theirs.

Please visit my friends at the following websites to learn how you can help save animals:

http://www.cheetah.org/

http://predatordefense.org/

I took the photo of the man with the cheetah at a farm in southern Namibia. Cheeky the cheetah was purring like a house cat when I snapped this frame.

Thank you for your comments, votes and friendship!

Best regards,

Paul

The Invisible Thread of Humanity - Part 7 of 7

For many people around the world, everyday is a struggle to survive because of disabilities and poverty. For the final entry in my series on humanity, I want to introduce to you Sieng Sok Chann, who is an inspiring young woman from Cambodia.

When Sieng was in the eighth grade she was struck in the spine by a bullet as she was walking over a bridge with her grandmother. As a result of her injury and subsequent paralysis, she has faced many difficulties such as having to drop out of school, being abandoned by her husband to raise their son on her own, and having property that was given to her taken away. Worst of all she was told, “Why don’t you just die?” by people who were close to her. Sieng, however, has an amazing spirit and refused to give up on herself and her son and now makes a living teaching sewing to other women who have disabilities, as well. While many would give up on life under these difficult circumstances, Sieng chose to take control of her life and did not allow the world to define or crush her.

Please go to the following link and watch an interview that I filmed with Sieng Sok Chann for CMB Australia’s End the Cycle campaign.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR1FxU_0msI&list=UUa60-Uai8j3FPTCACD5Dndg&index=8&feature=plcp

I encourage you as a photographer to be an ambassador for your part of the world through the images that you share on 500px. Look for photographic opportunities to make visible “The Invisible Thread of Humanity.” Through our images we can bridge the gap of misunderstanding and fear that is perpetuated by those who are more interested in dividing us by way of our differences, than uniting us through our common humanity. We have the power to create a future that is both peaceful and prosperous.

Thank you for supporting this series! I’ve enjoyed your comments and appreciate your friendship.

All the best,

Paul

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djingen
Daniel Wallenberg  about 2 years ago
1
Great idea!
PaulGarrett
Paul Garrett  about 2 years ago
0
Thanks, Daniel!
n0mi
Muddasir Javed  over 2 years ago
1
This was an exceptionally well documented and imaged story. Very moving and hits the core of human fabric. Lovely work. Already a fan now.
PaulGarrett
Paul Garrett  over 2 years ago
0
Thanks for supporting this series on humanity, Muddasir! I really appreciate your comments.
johnbarclay
John Barclay  over 2 years ago
1
I was thinking of you when I saw stories... good job Paul.
PaulGarrett
Paul Garrett  over 2 years ago
0
Thanks, John!
johnmiddleton
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John Middleton  over 2 years ago
0
With the edit function you can re-order the images so that 1 is at the top (if you like)
johnmiddleton
Plus Account
John Middleton  over 2 years ago
1
Awesome...just awesome
PaulGarrett
Paul Garrett  over 2 years ago
0
Hi John, thanks for encouraging me to post this series as a story! I will try to reorder the shots.

Thanks again,

Paul