A nature photographer was photographing some falcons when he noticed a young lady, probably college age, milling around him. She has passed by twice and seems to want to approach but has not.
Other people had been approaching the photographer all day long.
They were amazed by the pictures of the falcons the photographer was taking. Then, when the young lady got close enough, the photographer said, how are you?
She reply’s I’m ok. The photographer says, just ok. You must have come down to the beach to do some serious reflection. The young lady replies, how could you know that? He replies, because I can feel it in your heart.
She says, who are you? He gives her his name and says, Google me. She gets on her phone for about ten minutes while he is photographing a young lady wrapped in a yellow python snake wearing practical nothing! He can hear her laughing in the background. He’s not sure if she’s laughing about what she’s reading or the fact the lady and the photographer are dancing now.
After dancing with the lady, the photographer asks, what’s your name? She replies, my name is Lauren. The photographer says, so tell me, Lauren, what’s going on?
She says, why would I tell a stranger my problems? He replies, well, I have no opinion of you. You are an open book to me. Everything we discuss will be about truth and love.
She looks at him and is not sure what to think, and says, ok. Explains that she is getting ready to graduate with a degree in Engineering.
My dad’s an engineer. His dream is for me to work for his company and take over. But. The photographer interrupts and says, let me guess. Your dad is excellent, and your mother is probably too, and you are trying not to dishonor them. Am I correct? She says yes; oh my god, how could you know that?
Well, the photographer says if they were not exceptional, you would probably do whatever the hell you want—not caring what your parents think.
So tell me, Lauren, he says. What’s your dream? She says she would like to work for her dad but get a degree in child development. When she does, she will find a job in that field. Everyone, including my school, is pushing for girls to be in the STEMs. I want to work with children.
Well, Lauren, the photographer says you need to live your truth, not somebody else’s. She says, what do you mean? Have you ever thought about why we are all here? You know the meaning of life. She says Oh my god, I was having this conversation last week with my sorority sisters. Who are you? She says. I told you who I am.
The photographer says can I share why I think we are all here?
She says sure. Before I tell you what I think, the photographer says, I want to be clear; this is my belief. It’s not right or wrong. It’s just what I believe, Lauren.
I believe we are here to use our intelligence for truth and love. She asks, can you elaborate. The photographer says Lauren, if your intelligence is against you, you are in a world of trouble! I am sure you have thought about where your thoughts come from.
When you have thoughts that are not your truth, what do you think happens in your mind? For example, anxiety, stress, anger, hate, Oh my gosh, she says, wow, I never thought about it like that!
Learn to use your intelligence for truth because, without it, there is no meaning to life. Also, use it for love. Without it, there is no life. So, the photographer says, think about it.
She says I love you! I can’t believe I said that! The photographer say’s Lauren, can you lower your sunglasses so I can see your eyes? The photographer say’s Lauren, I love you. The young lady’s eyes filled up with water, and she ran off!
Thirty minutes later, he hears a hello and turns around and sees about 20 college-age women in bikinis staring at him. The photographer says I bet you are wondering why I’m staring at the cliffs. One of them says no. So we want to know, do you usually tell strangers you love them?
He says, ah, this must be about Lauren. So he asked, is Lauren ok? One of them says she’s fantastic! What the hell did you tell her? We brought her here because, for months, she has been concerned about graduating and telling her parents she does not want to be an engineer.
She comes back from her walk saying I just met the most amazing man, and he says he loves me, and I believe him! So I’m going home and talking to my dad! I’m so excited I could burst!
The photographer says that’s awesome; she is going to live her truth! But, then, one of the girls says, so, tell us what the hell did you do in a couple of minutes what we could not do in months?
The photographer says I shared what I thought about why we are all here. You know the meaning of life. But, then, one of them screams, oh my god, who are you?
The photographer gives them his name and says Google me. Several of them had their phones, then one of them said. I know who you are. You are that guy who dances around the beach, and people say your pictures are amazing!
He replies, people, say my photos are amazing. She says yes. He replies, cool. So he tells them what he said to Lauren. After 40 minutes, they all say goodbye. As they’re walking away, the photographer hears one of them say, girls 123, they all yell, we love you, Michael!
By Michael Vance Pemberton based on a true story.
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