Changing the World
November 14th, 2007 by Sonja

As some of you might know I’m married to a shutter bug. LightHusband has been known to take a photo or two. In another life he was once rather affectionately (or so we thought) known as “The Sniper” because of his delight in snapping photos. Now he takes literally thousands of pictures of hockey players. Those that play with the LightChildren that is. He does a great job with it too. Enough so that when the “professional” came to take the team photos this year, I took secret delight at the high standards the hockey moms and dads had for him … that had been set by LightHusband.

In any case, when Brother Maynard mentioned that he’d found a website of 100 photographs that had changed the world, I was intrigued to say the least.  I wanted to see these photographs that had managed to change the world.  Because I’m always interested in the things that can change the world.

It was, in any case, the Life website and the 100 photographs that their photographers had taken that had changed the world … in their estimation.  The introduction and their rationale is well worth the read.  The photographs themselves are revealing and stunning.  They trace a bunch of our shared history for the past 150 years … that period of time during which we have had photography available to us.  It is a site that I really cannot recommend enough.

Here is the thought that kept echoing through my head and I cannot shake.  It hasn’t given me nightmares … yet.  But I’m bereft with it.  These photographs that changed the world.  I’m not so certain that it was the photographs that did the changing … it was that they captured the moment that a change began.  And here is the thing that causes my soul to quake … was how many of those moments were moments of utter and depraved violence.  They captured the worst moments of evil and depravity.  Some of the photographs are seemingly innocent.

There is the photograph of the first “Marlboro Man.”  I never knew he was originally a real cowboy, a foreman on a 320,000 acre ranch in northern Texas.  He rode into town once a week for storebought shave.  But there is violence underneath that photo … the violence of using a human as an icon to make money on addiction and ultimately death.

There is the “Earthrise” photo … capturing the moment the earth rises over the horizon of the moon during the one of the trips to the moon in the late 60’s.  It remains one of the most beautiful photos ever taken.  But we still do not know the effects of our pollution when taken into the realms of outer space.  We take it there and blithely dump it as we did for so many decades into our oceans thinking they were limitless.

Take only photographs and leave only footprints … is that truly possible?  Can we really leave only footprints behind?  Or do we make more of an impact on our environment than that.  I wonder about the implications of the curses in Genesis 3.  What did God mean by them?  How far down have we gone?  Can we ever change the world?

3 Responses  
  • Jamie writes:
    November 14th, 200711:30 amat


    I don’t have a lot of time for reading blogs these days, but I’m glad I didn’t miss this one.

  • Amanda writes:
    November 14th, 20071:17 pmat

    Those are incredible. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about them.

  • inheritorofheaven writes:
    November 15th, 20077:45 amat

    I was skimming since I really need to get to work, but I noticed your comment regarding the photos (which I have yet to look at) and violence. Interesting that one of the 6th grade boys I co-teach at Sunday school put out the topic “Why do we get such pleasure out of violence? He was mainly thinking of video games but I think we can extrapolate further. I will be thinking about your comments and looking at the photos as we plan how to unpack this with the boys.

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