The Will to Change

I stare at the photo and wonder about that child. Is he healthy? Is he happy? Is he still innocent? Is he still alive?

Photographed one chilly October afternoon in Krakow almost 10 years ago, it is a slice of time and life that still speaks to me. The child is doing what children should do: explore, have fun, discover, chase pigeons, fall asleep, wake up to another adventure. These are the sane things children should embrace. These are the things we relish in them, why not in ourselves?

When does the insanity begin to creep in? When do we begin thinking in terms of my profit, your loss? When do we begin thinking in terms of us and them, us against them, black and white, red and blue, my way or the highway? When do we begin turning the child into the adult?

For some, we force it upon them unconscionably early. Whether in Newtown, Connecticut or countless Afghan and Pakistani villages, whether in time of endless war or supposed peace, whether from a “sporting rifle” or a drone, children just separated from their mother’s teats are twisted into adults, if they survive. What has happened? What is happening?

We cannot protect our children, our future, with more of the same. There are times when less is more and the same thinking that got us here, will only keep us digging deeper. Solutions cannot be found in the shiny steel of rhetoric or machinery. We are needed and the need is the will to change. Forget the Will to is so 20th century (wrapped in the bombastic detritus of the 19th). We must muster the will to change.

At some point enough is indeed enough. Watch the children. We can learn from them, the sane ones.

Next: ”Bad Seed or Negligent Farmer?” 


As the principal of Clayhaus Photography, Jeff Clay specializes in fine-art landscape, architecture, and travel images. He also does portrait and event photography as a partner in Perfect Light Studios. Finally, with a background in information technology and project management, and as sole proprietor of Clayhaus Consulting, he works with non-profits and small businesses to help implement Internet and social media campaigns. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT with his wife, Bonnie and their three wild and crazy retrievers.

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