I was steaming along sorting the images from my locomotive trip in South Africa when I came across this one. Normally it would have been tossed and deleted with the ‘puff’ of my MacBook trash bin. Why?

Because the scene was a little too far away and the dark skin and clothing blend together so it is lacking easy definition between the subject(s).

But I stopped in my tracks, cropped in and took a closer look. While this frame will not make my final cut for printing I saw something marvellous!

I saw something marvellous!

We’re on the 21 century train of life now: passengers often with eyes down, alone with their devices. I’m hanging out the window of my carriage looking for signs of human interaction and there, in an instant, is the meeting of lenses. A young boy with his cellphone taking a photo of me on the train taking a photo of him! (Ok, I concede he was taking a photo of the steam train 🙂

I’ll be a tiny blurred speck on his image but that is not my point. Notice how his mother was right there with him – in his personal space with his device – giving him a steadying hand. They blend together as one. The word ENCOURAGEMENT toots from the funnel as she is helping and fully sharing this moment with him. Maybe this little chap will become a great photographer in his time? I hope so.

And it got me thinking: we could all do with assistance on our individual journeys. And each one of us has the capacity to see through the brave smokescreen of others and give them some cheer.

Everyone can give encouragement.

“Encouragement to others is something everyone can give. Somebody needs what you have to give. It may not be your money; it may be your time. It may be your listening ear. It may be your arms (in a hug). It may be your smile to uplift.” Joel Osteen

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