Sunday, November 20, 2011
Why Should We Care?
I have been on fast-forward for most of my life, racing to keep ahead of the demands of an ever-changing career in the media industry. Writing has given me a chance to pause and reflect a little on myself, but mostly on the dilemmas I have faced covering shattering events around the world.
I am grateful to the many people I have met who allowed a clumsy journalist into their lives. I think about them late at night when I cannot sleep.
What happened to the abandoned boy with the harelip in the Baghdad hospital? Did your mother come back to get you after the siege? And the hungry little boy who followed me all morning in Port Au Prince asking for my pen. I wish I'd given it to you. I only had one. The Afghan orphan I left studying by candlelight--did you become a teacher as you wanted? The boy in Gaza paralyzed by a bullet to the neck--did you get a wheelchair that would go through sand?
If I could revisit the thousands of people I have filmed in the worst moments of their lives, I would apologize for having intruded on their suffering. I would share with them my belief that by telling me their stories they have helped in some small way to make the world a better place.
Hopefully, they would agree.
In a world obsessed with celebrities, leaders, and wealth--one thing I am not ashamed of is the route that I have taken and the direction I've decided to point my camera. I'm determined to shed light on the forgotten, focus on those left behind, those paying the price. And in many ways, I hope to provide an answer to all those who ever dare to ask "why should we care?"