The Sunday Scribblings prompt is "human".
This faded and inexplicably folded photo came to light today as I was sorting through one of those drawers that are full of miscellaneous objects that overflow from other places in this big house. It was obviously one of the many snapshots my father took during his 1916-1918 explorations of the South American continent making measurements of terrestrial magnetism for the Carnegie Institution at Washington but also observing the people and their customs wherever his work took him.
This is what my father wrote on the back of the photo in his distinctive handwriting. I have chosen not to correct or enhance these scans of the originals of either of these images since they are accurate in appearance and accurate also, it seems to me, in another sense: it has been all too easy for the majority of humans to overlook the plight of the poorest among us or even to exploit their vulnerability for our own comfort or profit. And one need not go to a foreign country or a time in the past in order to observe it. It exists here and now: the exploitation by employers of those who are desperate to eke out a living and will accept underpaid jobs. They slave in the fields and orchards, the service industries, or perhaps they sleep in doorways at night because they cannot find housing.
Actual slavery still exists in all parts of the world, and, according to recent reports, even in our own United States.
How can humans do such harm to other humans and still call themselves human? It's not a question that I can answer, but I have a niggling little suspicion that I am a part of the problem.