What is beautiful about shooting?

Well, sometimes we have to hunt to feed…  that goes back 10,000 years…  Stones, clubs, spears, traps, poison, arrows, bullets, explosives, and whatever else  are the tools of killing.  Accepted and necessary when they are.  It is up to us to determine when and why.  It is all about slowing evil and protecting what one values…  That is its own debate.  I know what a Glock, Sig Sauer, or a FN P90 is for starters.  I own them.  I will not leave my family’s fate to chance.

Then there are the beautiful things in life, from nature to children, to all that is pleasing to the eye.  Have you not taken a picture of a sunset, or a baby, or a puppy, or a smile that is truly amazing?  Shooting pictures is a wonderful way to show what you see and appreciate.  Some faces in fashion magazines are so beautiful that they are not real.  Or….  a schooner on the ocean against the clouds in full sail.  Wonders abound.  They are ours to own.  Soul food.

My daughter takes a different view.  She made a film called “Shooting Beauty”.  It is a powerful life-transforming journey into the world of cerebral palsy.   It takes courage to watch it but once you have you are better than you were before.  I am humbled.  Life all too often focuses on the obviously beautiful.  How in the world can beauty be found with tragically ostracized beings?  Courtney was blessed with a vision to teach these people how to use a camera and take pictures.  She fashioned special individualized accessories for them.  Each participant learned composition, took pictures…  And… eventually had them on the walls of galleries. Dignity was brought into their lives through photography.  You have to see the film.  It has won many awards.

You know how we turn our heads when we see someone who is not normal looking?  They see you.  They see us wincing every day.  Hurts.  But they understand… better than we.  You know how people can be made fun of if they are different?  You see this film and you become embarrassed at your former behavior as you now know you are causing hurt that you did not intend.  Deep inside each of us is a compassion center which is innocent, vulnerable and sensitive.  It is part of our true self.  We are not born to hurt.  We are born to help.  It takes many a lifetime to realize that this is the street of joy.  There is no other.

Shooting Beauty should just have begun her journey.  Every school in every town should be showing this film.  It would stop bullying in its ugly tracks.  “You can’t say that” would be the new admonition of a newly energized student majority.  We talk of diversity and sensitivity training.  We talk about our culture’s demise.  We talk.  We talk.

Beauty lies deep within.

Judge the face and you lose the soul.



Chris Bent
Kennebunkport, ME

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