In celebration of “Tell the Truth Day”, I want to tell you about something that happened to me a few minutes ago. I was looking at a photo of a little girl sleeping in the outline she drew of her “mother,” tears streaming down my cheeks. Maybe you saw it, maybe you didn’t.
For those whose hearts were also broken today by the photo, thinking this small child was an orphan, please read this statement by the photographer Bahareh Bisheh :
“This little girl is my cousin and she actually fell asleep on the asphalt just outside my house. She must have played for some time and just lied to rest and fell asleep. im used a chair to stand on in order to take this shot. There is no orphanage involved and no tragic story behind this. i took this opportunity to be creative. It is a style of photography.”
Now, Tell the Truth Day is not until July 4, but when I read this reveal, I thought there’s no reason to wait for a holiday.
EVERY day should be tell the truth day.
So why call her an orphan, when she’s not?
Sometimes lies like this are shared on purpose, with an agenda. Still other times it’s easier to see what we want to in a photo. And sometimes we just don’t know better – we trust our friends or the sites who shared it with us.
Are there children suffering in the world, missing their mothers? Yes. Does something need to be done to help? Most definitely.
But in this case, the photo does not depict such tragedy. This photo depicts a sweet, tired child. Nothing more. The photographer has even changed the title of the photo to “I have a mother” to try to counteract the rampant misinformation.
The way this photo has been used by the well-meaning but misinformed goes back to my last post, where I wrote about how ignorance can be devastating, even leading to war. We must be vigilant if we want to affirm the good. And in this case, with this photo, there is much good. As pure and clear as a fresh drink of water.
It is, in fact, a sweet story.
So this is me, doing my part, sharing that story. That truth.
So we can all have a little relief from the heartache.