I grew up around art and a few artists. I looked to people who had a reverence for the world at large. A natural contemplative awareness developed, as in many children before it is covered over. Call it awe, which Abraham Heschel describes as an “intuition for the dignity of all things, a realization that things not only are what they are but also stand, however remotely, for something supreme.”
No wonder I became both a photographer and an Episcopal deacon.
In discussions of poverty’s ills and cures, it doesn’t take long for the subject of root causes to come up. Not everyone agrees what those root causes are, of course—or whose fault they are. But it’s often taken for granted that you can’t just tackle a presenting problem directly; you have to go for the root, whatever it is.
This certainly isn’t always wrong, but it does have a way of obscuring simple, obvious solutions.