The children of Liberia are unlike any other children that I've encountered. Their passion for everyday life, their care for one another, and the gratitude in simplicity for the littlest of things has made me understand that they are the gems of this world.
As Michelle Hicks and I walked the streets of our local community here in Liberia, we were guided by a kind man who had randomly approached us. I was carrying my camera, something the people here have been often taken back by - and for obvious reasons. The man introduced us to his brother and as we began to walk back towards the main road, I glanced to my left. The kids you can see in this photo were huddled together on the ground, surrounded by dusty air in this hot & humid weather. They were all snickering at each other, and looked up at me as I walked by.
Their lives were so simple. One of them shirtless, many without shoes; finding happiness in the simplest of things: human life. Something we all take for granted daily. The presence of each other was more than enough to make all the kids smile with joy.
Almost in unison they looked up at me and smiled, some turning away as if to be hiding from me in plain sight, but all of them happy. I waved. Every single one of them was stoked by my simple gesture of saying "hello".
Something so simple made their lives so full, something so easy and natural had made this group so content.
I pointed to my camera, smiled, and made an expression saying "picture?" This blew them away. Immediately they assembled together, almost as if they had planned this, and posed for an awaited photograph. I ran over and got this shot, along with a couple others (which may actually be better), and it reminded me that we don't need very much to be happy in life, we just think we do.
As I walked away they smiled, waved, and got back to being kids. Beauty comes in all forms, but often times the largest representation lies in those with the simplest of hearts.