“Oh can’t you see you belong to me. My poor heart aches with every step you take”. Every breath you take – Police.
We live our lives surrounded by people of all kinds. Taller, smaller, richer, poorer, more or less intelligent… Every person we interact with every day was born in the same way as us. It’s everything else what make us different from them.
In some cases is heritage: Some people inherit money or terrains from their parents, but in many cases inheritance is not limited to material things. People inherit the education from their parents, the relationships they have made in the past with other people, their fame. You can get a good job because your employer knows our father for years, or be the coolest person in high school because your family was rich enough to pay for your studies, a car, parties… while other people has to spend their spare time working to survive. Or just be tough to be an honest, or a successful kind of person, just because it was the environment you were raised in.
And one of the most curious ways of inheritance is the social one. You can get things done just because other people are willing to do them for you, because they trust you.
But a person, at the end, is just a person. Strip any human being of every possession, physical or social, and you get nothing more than a “bag of dirty water”. Think of the president of any country. As a human being, in the physical sense, has nothing different from any other person in the country. He just decided to take some decisions who lead him to become president because the rest of the people agreed with that. If that president created a new law that nobody wanted to obey… What could he do to accomplish his desires?
People are only as powerful as they want us to believe. And, of course, if you stop believing but all your neighbors still do, you won’t achieve anything. But power, trends, fashions, popularity… is nothing more than a great shadow that people freely decide to obey.
But we keep submitting to people every day, to their wishes and whims, as if they really had actual power over us. Perhaps is a boss, using you as a toy or pawn in their particular game, or perhaps is a sentimental partner, using your faith in the relationship to get more than s/he should. We could break that chain that ties us easily, but we choose to keep it, while we convince ourselves that we cannot do it.
It reminds me to Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”, where the gods only had as much power as people believing in them. Your word is trustable only if people think so, and you only will have as much power as people accept to give to you. But that power is not real, is just a promise of actuation, a word. Just like money has not real value as its own, it’s just a paper you trust to be able to change for things when you accept it in exchange for other things.
So, we spend our lives submitting to people we shouldn’t, not because they have real power, just because they convinced us they do and our lack of self-confidence obeys, submissive.
Place: Bosc de Can Ginebreda
Speed: 1/250 s.
Focal: 105 mm