Sunday, December 12, 2010
He was different...
The boy in focus, he was different than the rest of the Afghan children that gathered around us. He seemed stronger and more aware and suspicious of our intent. He walked around with a swagger that told you he wasn't afraid and seemed to have an attitude of almost challenging our presence. As he stood there in the crowd of his peers he stood out like he was standing alone. I instantly noticed him and knew he was different than the rest.
It wasn’t the boy’s age, his looks or what he wore, but instead it was his body language that suggested this kid has a different outlook on his surroundings than the other kids around. He seemed to possess a smarter, more educated view of his country and the conflict brewing day in and day out. When this boy grows into a man, he will become a leader. I just hope his potential is not wasted upon the likes of the Taliban and other religious fanatics.
I found it disheartening as I stood there amongst my peers, wondering if I was the only one capable of sensing the boy’s imminent future, as I feared that he would fall into the hands of the enemy, becoming my enemy.
Why don’t we have teams of men and women out there in the Afghan economy trying to catch these young Afghan future leaders before it is too late? If we do have them in the form of a “secret” operation, we do not have nearly enough to even hope to be the start of that first drop in the bucket.
Sometimes it all seems like such a waste; a waste of human potential, ability and life.
Photo taken by me in Southern Afghanistan in 2010, using a Canon 7D and 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM.
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