You're headed to work. After waiting in line forever for coffee at your local cafe, you're struggling to get through the morning traffic that hogs the freeway. You're running late, frustrated and tired. You see a break in traffic so you switch lanes and speed up to get ahead of the slower cars in front of you. As you look in your review mirror you realize you just passed a police officer, upon glancing down at your speedometer, you also see that you were most definitely going over the speed limit. Unfortunately for you, the police officer noticed too. Red and blue lights light up behind you and you're now getting pulled over.
The officer takes his time recording the stop and running your plates. You're obviously annoyed, and now going to be even more late to work. When he finally approaches your vehicle, asks for your licence and registration and why you were speeding, you snap your response at him. He looks tired, but smiles softly and thanks you. He calmly walks back to his car and speaks with dispatch. When he returns, he lets you know he will be letting you off with a warning, to slow down, and have a nice day. You retort back with a sarcastic laugh and roll your eyes. Merging back into traffic, you make your way to work and don't even give the traffic stop a second thought.
Do you ever watch those movies or read the books with alternate endings? Situations such as these make me wonder what it would be like to rewind these moments, maybe take a second to walk through these scenarios in the other persons shoes. You never know what kind of a day someone has had, what they have had to deal with, the things they have seen.
The barista who gave you your morning latte may be a college student who had been up all night cramming for her next exam, working odd shifts in her spare time to pay off her student loans.
The woman driving slow in front of you may be a new mother, driving cautiously to protect her newborn baby in the back seat.
The tired police officer who let you off with a warning may be nearing the end of a 14 hour shift, needing just one more stop before he can head home to his wife and kids.
My point is, labels mean nothing. Before you walk a mile in someone's shoes, who are you to judge, or claim that someone else's life is more important?
ALL LIVES MATTER. That should be what we believe in, how we feel about one another. I don't want to raise my daughter in a country that justifies who matters and why. ALL LIVES MATTER. Whether it is the barista giving you coffee at your local coffee shop, or the man that pulls you over for speeding, their lives matter, their lives have MEANING.
I was honored to be able to photograph a local police officer and his beautiful wife and daughter this weekend. This is his life outside of the badge. He is a human being, someone with feelings and emotions. He is not just a police officer, he is a father, a husband, a son. His wife also has to be strong, to understand the line of duty her husband is in. She patiently waits at home with her child, trying not to watch the clock or wonder if he is okay. The shifts are long and unpredictable and the calls he may get could be dangerous.
These men and women are here to protect us, to make the streets safer for our children. They risk their lives daily for us, we being people who may be complete strangers to them. But they are also human. They are deserving of more than annoyance that a day has been slowed down or thought of as an inconvenience. Let's stop and think about the lives of others and how our actions may affect them as well. After all, they're here risking their lives daily to make our cities safer.
Be sure to "Like" K. Loreth Photography on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/klorethphoto) for updates and more session sneak peeks! To inquire about a session, please submit your information under the contact tab! (http://www.klorethphotography.com/contact.html).