“To photograph is to confer importance.” – Susan Sontag
I want to be a good man. It seems a simple goal, but in a culture that so often extols greatness over goodness it can be difficult: Why does my path feel wrong? Why does this ‘success’ I pursue not seem to bring the contentment that was promised with it? Should I follow the way I have been shown, or be brave enough to risk following my own?
For years I’ve struggled between pursuing the affirmation that accompanies socially-defined success, and the internal contentment that flows from meeting the needs of my own soul. Like many in my generation, from a young age I was told that I was special – that I was destined to do great things.
But what about the good? During this campaign I’ve seen that, despite what I sometimes believed, I am far from alone in believing good still has its place in this world. Along our journey, I was overwhelmed by the generosity, kindness, laughter and energy of people all across this country.
Sometimes I regret that it is all too natural to measure success in tangibles; in things that can – in fact – be measured. Square footage of our homes, the size of our TV’s and of our cars, the title that we hold in our professions. But during these past few months, I have seen people unite around a success that promises so much more.
We are choosing – as a country, as a culture - to change what is important: equality and unity, peace and community. The health of our planet and of our bodies. We are putting something above private wealth or personal glory. We are saying that we want to change – collectively.
My story is the story of everyone I met along this journey. The people who inspired me and bolstered my faith not only in my country, but in humanity. The faith that so many people believe there can be good in the world, and will dedicate themselves to ensuring its survival.
Though great men and women are enshrined in history, it is the people who have chosen to pursue good who ultimately matter most. With them, leaders have power, dreams have possibility, and hope can lead to change. I felt it was essential to create a record of these people – to confer importance on what they’ve done, and who they are. Because if good and hope and possibility stand victorious on Nov. 5th, it’s because of you – and I can think of nothing more important than what you have done. You have given us hope. Thank you.