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  • Writer's picturePaul Cotter

Racing through Life

In a bookcase in the classroom where I taught photography, I kept a collection of books featuring my favorite masters of photography. One day, I prepared what I thought would be an interesting in-class assignment. I asked each student to select one book from the bookcase, look at the photos and be prepared to discuss with the group. I assumed they'd spend the first half of the 90-minute class looking at some of the world's greatest photos.

To my shock and disappointment, they were finished in about three minutes — rifling through the books the way they’d scroll through an Instagram feed, as quickly as their fingers could manage.

“What’s the problem? We looked at the photos,” they said when they saw my frustration.

“Yes, you looked at them,” I countered. “But did you really SEE them?”

The world keeps moving faster. We spend so much time racing through it all — rifling through the pages of life without noticing the details. Perhaps I’m just a dreamer with a camera, but I think it’s good to slow down occasionally and appreciate more fully what’s in front of us.

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