Everyone’s always taking photos these days. It’s great. Most of the time.
I take loads. Tons. Mostly because I don’t have my glasses on at the time and end up deleting 75% of them later. Always hoping some actually make the cut.
But there are some photos that are just not worth taking.
Like when someone crosses over a safety barrier to take a photo by the edge of a cliff.
I read this past week about the Polish couple that plunged to their death from a cliff. In front of their two very young children. It happened in Portugal. Some of the news reports claimed they were taking a “selfie.” I do not know if that is true because I have also read that the children were given the camera to take the photo.
The fact is that there was a safety barrier that they hopped over to get to the edge of the cliff.
And now their two little children have a picture in the head for the rest of their lives. That they will never be able to delete.
Reminds me of a recent trip this past summer to the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland. I was with Annie and two of my cousins. So beautiful but always gets me nervous and thinking. I told Annie (15) beforehand that we were to stay on the path.
There were safety barriers in some of the areas. But there were a few folks from Australia (and possibly other places) who hopped over the barrier so they could get some photos. They weren’t exactly on the edge but on a mound of dirt/grass. The problem is that one wrong move or stumble could send someone down the hill and then off the cliff.
The photos they were taking were ones with their hands raised in the air like they were falling. Just trying to go for the funny shot with the craggy cliffs and wild ocean in background. There wasn’t anything funny about it.
My cousin was beside herself and didn’t care who heard her. She was like, “Are they insane?”
A fellow (friend of the one who was having his photo taken) heard her and said, “He’s absolutely mad.”
The thing of it is this. We all would have felt terrible if the man slipped and fell. The value of life and our fellow human beings and all that.
But we also would have a horrible image in our head for the rest of our lives. Totally not cool. That is what my cousin was upset about this day.
Many people already have pictures that cannot be erased. They don’t need others, who are unnecessarily taking risks, to add more to their mental gallery.
I arrived back in Malaysia the beginning of August. One evening I was driving back home from the city of Kuala Lumpur and realized that I had forgotten (after being in United States and Ireland) what a menace the motorbikes are here. They dart in and out of traffic and they are everywhere! So scary. I am always afraid I will hit one of them.
This particular night I hear the roar of three bikes together passing me on my right. On the highway and going very fast. Three pals from the look of it.
One was driving his motorcycle on his stomach! Totally prone. I couldn’t believe it. Then the two guys on another bike behind him are taking pictures of him on a mobile phone! Not the driver but the passenger. But still! And the third motorcyclist was just supporting them with laughter.
I found out at lunch yesterday that this was called “planking.” Oh my gosh. I learn something new every day. I was also told that the fellow who had the phone was probably filming it. And making a video.
All I could think of that evening was, “Please God, don’t let them fall and make me run over them on this highway” and “Please don’t let them crash and make me witness it.”
There really are some photos that are just not worth it.