Thursday, April 28, 2011

Leadership Starts from the Darkrooms

I am a NON professional photographer, yes, A NON professional..
Its a hobby that I have inherited from the man who I admire the most in my life, my Father..
I have learned to use photography as a way of expressing how I see things, my own inner interpretation of my surroundings..

My camera is also an object that I hide behind sometimes when I want to pretend that I am transparent and I don't want anyone to see me or talk to me, when I am in my inner darkroom trying to understand myself..
So, through this NON professional journey with photography I have learned the secret of "The Darkrooms".                 Technically, before digital photography people used darkrooms to transfer.. reflect how they saw things in to images that others can understand.. Personally, and after 30 years of holding a camera, I have learned the secret of the EXPRESSION "Darkrooms"..        As humans, there is a darkroom inside each one of us..               
This darkroom is where we treasure our"Me"..                                                                                           The Me that holds our feelings, behavior patterns, secret thoughts, life questions, personal values, and what motivates our reactions..  The Me that hold the source of our optimism, encourages inner empathy, and guides the drives behind our decisions.. The Me that knows the reason behind our existence in this world.. What makes us happy, what fills us with energy, what enables us to give ourselves to fulfill the reasons of our creation.. Now some of us are more capable of entering their personal darkrooms than others, those who do, are the ones who will have the opportunity to understand themselves..
I have to be honest with you, entering those internal darkrooms could be somehow adventurer but painful at the same time. As entering, one will have to remove all masks that we use as individuals to be able to harmonize in our society to fulfill the different roles that we play in this life.
Removing those masks will allow us to face different feelings, ideas, or believes that we might have been avoiding.
It is as simple as playing "Truth or Dare" with yourself..
My first entry to my darkroom was in my early years, just around the same time when I received my first "Polaroid Camera", and my younger sister was my continuous and only model.
During those same years, I used to pretend that this same sister is also my regular and only student.
We used to come back from school to pretend play that we are at school. And I have made sure that I was always the teacher. I would organize my crayons, coloring books, glue, scissor, and markers to teach her the alphabets,, I used to feel that I was responsible of her future... The "immature" teacher inside me already had a clear vision and goal for my future.
I still enjoy putting my markers, papers, and tools together while believing that I have a responsibility towards the education of the young generation of my country..
The day I wrote my life mission, my noble goal, I took a red marker and wrote on a big white piece of paper a beautiful saying by my profit Mohammad may peace be upon him, That teaching others whether they applied the knowledge or not is worth a thousand prayer.. On that day I chose the roade of education as my road to heaven.. Being inspired by the first order that God had given Mohammad may peace be upon him when he asked him to READ..
I have once stood in front of hundreds of parents confessing.. That if I had a magic wand where I can turn all children of my country, of the world, in to readers then I would be the happiest person on the Glob... But unfortunately I don't have that wand..
What I have is my strong believe in my life vision and mission..
It takes the dreaming of more than one person to create this kind of change. It takes energy, time, persistence, effort, organizing, faith, and a lot more.. It takes leaders to create this kind of change..
Those leaders who have the courage to enter their darkrooms and communicate with the outside world at the same time..
Leaders who are able to reflect the treasure of "Me" on images that can be understood by the world.. Leaders who are able to communicate with the world, to nurture and to transform..
Leaders who use the wisdom of their feelings, thought, values, and experience, to find purpose and change the direction of the world..
And I want to be one of those leaders..
As getting older my visits to my darkroom still exist. Where negative sheets of my life, experiences, believes, values, thoughts, and feelings are kept.. The place where I run to, to create clear nice images of the future I dream of.. Of what I can accomplish on the roade of change to fulfill the reason behind my creation..            My journey as a non-professional photographer is still to be continued.. In my future years I want to learn more about myself through the eyes of people around me, through my surroundings... To be more able to communicate and to give..                                 I want to travel the world, I want to become a teacher and a student at the same time, where the world is my classroom.. I want to graduate from my darkroom in to the world of digital photography..

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