Tammy and I never quite got the hang of "selfies." For those who are not aware of what those are - it is when you take a picture of yourself at some location or another.
You see, our selfies tend to turn out this way. Someone told me we get them "ALL WRONG" and mentioned something about pointing the camera the wrong way. I of course, think they're just goofy. How can you see what you're taking a picture of if you point the camera the other way? That's just silliness, you know!
So, we have learned over time that selfies require specific lighting and - usually - specific surroundings to work well. That is, if you want your silhouette to be well-defined. Frankly, I am not too worried if some of our selfies are a little indistinct. It's a reminder that we can't see everything fully and clearly. You may think you know everything there is to know about me, or about Tammy, but then you find out you were mistaken. Your picture of us was not as well-defined as you believed.
In fact, the moment you think you know everything about anything is the moment you make that thing less special. It is the fact that there is still much to learn and experience that adds to a person, or a group, or a place, or an occupation - or a life.
I will admit that there are a few reasons why we do not tend to take selfies like 'normal people' do. One of them is that neither of us is inclined to want to spend a great deal of time looking at ourselves. Yes, yes. We look in the mirror to make ourselves look presentable. Frankly, Tammy needs much less work than I do.
The other reason is that we often see the concept of the selfie as another way of putting yourself first - often to the exclusion of other grander - and perhaps more important - things. We have been so fortunate to be able to visit some wonderful places and we have witnessed so many people barrel into a place that should take their breath away and take a couple of quick selfies. Then, zip out of there and on to the next "selfie location."
Checkmark. I was here.
To them - it feels as if it is simply a way of bringing it all back to themselves. "See everybody! I was here and HERE and HERE! Look at me! Look at me! And, oh, that's the Grand Canyon - whatever."
Please, don't take this wrong. If you are also privileged to be able to go and visit places and you like to record your presence there, feel free to do so. But - don't short yourself. And, don't belittle the place, people or event in that way. Take the time to appreciate where you are and what you are seeing. Are you looking at the Alamo? Well, take some real time to appreciate the structure, or the history, or the efforts of the people who curate and have restored the site. Or if you are on the shores of a lake in Ontario, listen to the water talk and watch the waves roll in.
By taking more time to actually look and learn, you increase your own appreciation for what you are seeing. You will make a connection that just might make you an ally for yet another place, another culture another ...something. Something that needs to be thought of so that we don't destroy yet another beautiful thing because too few of us has that personal connection.