When I was 13 a neighbor who was a professional photo finisher (Dark Room Developer) and train enthusiast, let me watch as he developed prints of steam locomotives. Seeing those images gradually develop in the chemical tray was absolute magic and the experience set me on a photographic journey that has lasted over sixty years.
At the time I had a newspaper route that was 11 miles long and much of it up steep hills that I could barely manage on my bicycle. So, it was my practice to stop each day stop at Foster’s Freeze for a milkshake and eat it while I rested up for the second half of my route. I got to know the proprietor and eventually we discussed photography which was also his hobby. The next day he brought two printed photo books of his photos to work and shared them with me. He could not have known how much of an impression that those books would have on my life.
In my eighty years on this planet, I have helped put planes in the sky, satellites in space, and men on the moon. I
I have made and lost a fortune, and built a security company that is now a billion-dollar division of Honeywell Corp. I have served on half a dozen Boards of Directors of non-profit organizations, but at this moment I am most proud of my last photo book, which in a way I have been working on for 67 years. The two men who inspired me to pick up a camera and seek perfection could not have to know that they would be instrumental in shaping the life of another. They were both passionate about photography and passion shared is contagious.
Aaron Siskind said this about photography: “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
Photography is one of the reasons that I have visited nearly 100 countries on six continents. Travel has helped make me who I am today, and if it were not for those two men who took time out for a young boy, I am quite sure that I would have become somebody else. Perhaps a serial killer? Mentoring a child could possibly change the world.
Little things in history
There are many small incidents that changed the course of history. Here are three little incidents that had major impacts:
- One holiday in 1878, Young Alfie Price, 16 at the time of the incident, from Devon smacked the nose of Kaiser Wilhelm II, 19 at that time, for throwing stones at the beach huts in Ilfracombe. Many say that because of it, Kaiser hated everything British. And of course, that hatred led to the First World War in history.
- Many believe that on the day the Battle of Waterloo was to commence, Napoleon suffered from an acute hemorrhoids attack that prevented him from riding his horse and keeping close supervision on his soldiers. His torpid doctors also lost the leeches that relieve him of his bum pain two days earlier and gave the mighty general a laudanum overdose by accident. It seemed that and his pain contributed to his downfall so noted in history.
- We all know Hitler got rejected from the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna but only a few knew he got rejected twice. And many have supposed those rejections that led to Hitler forming his anti-Semitic prejudices as he believed that a Jewish professor was behind the rejections. The consequences were monumental.
Little things in daily life
There are things in our daily lives that make a difference to everyone around us. Any one of these could change someone’s day, and perhaps, their life.
Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. It is key to all effective communication. If there is one communication skill you should aim to master, then listening is it. Listening to someone who is suicidal can literally save his/her life. Carefully listening to someone with an idea can result in their pursuing a successful career, invention or path. Listening . . . try it on your spouse or best friend and see the result.
We all know how a smile affects the smiler positively as well as the person who receives the smile. Take a look at the video below. You may be surprised at what you learn about the power of a smile. (This is really good. Don’t skip it).
Did you ever look at a stranger in the grocery store and say something like, “Great tie!” or “What a great color. That blouse really is lovely” or something else you may notice? What was the response? Someone who looks lost in thought or maybe a little sad will light up. What do you think it does to their day? It may make all the difference. What if you told your significant other how lovely she looks or how handsome he is today? Would they stand taller and smile broader? How would it affect each of you?
You get the idea. There are so many “little things” like listening, a smile, a compliment that make a big difference. Think about encouragement, an expression of gratitude for a favor you received, a “pay-it-forward kindness.” Any one of these can change a person’s future in a significant way that you may never know.
About the Authors
Jack Harwick is an 80-year-old, former aerospace engineer who helped put planes in the sky, satellites in space, and men on the moon. He left aerospace to start his own electronic security business, which is now a division of Honeywell Corp. He is very creative and has been issued a US patent for the PanoFix photo accessory. Jack has had many interests that have come and gone, like magic, cars, and architecture, but photography has been a constant passion for over sixty years. Relationships have always been a struggle with four failed marriages. Because of those failures, self-improvement has been actively studied for the last two decades, with varying results, but general improvement.
Irene Conlan is the owner and editor of this blog. She had a long career in nursing and nursing education. She is also a hypnotherapist and an entrepreneur. Now retired, she blogs, had a seven-year radio show on self-improvement. For go to https://theselfimprovementblog.com/about