When I came upon these two, Dad had just finished shooting and was sitting down for a rest. The boy was kneeling down, trying to get his small hands around the ball that Dad had left behind. I asked for a portrait, and suggested that Dad lift the boy up— just like the portrait shows.
When I walked away, I glanced back over my shoulder. Instead of returning to the bench where I’d found him, Dad was now down on his knees— trying to teach the boy to dribble.
I found it poetic how the perception created by the portrait led to an actual change in behavior. The man wanted to be the Dad in the portrait— teaching the boy to play. Even though I’m sure he’s already a wonderful father, the portrait reminded him to keep being so.
There’s a healthy pressure to live up to others’ perceptions of us. It’s a pressure created by healthy communities. It’s the pressure that turns children into good adults. And adults into good parents.
Greek and Roman mythology has its place, but Norse mythology is way better. Of the Norse pantheon of gods, the Valkyries take the top spot. Their job was to choose who lived or fell in battle. Half of those chosen would be taken to Valhalla, the kingdom of Odin, to prepare for the epic final…