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Timeless Storytelling

Dear Friends,

MIGRANT MOTHER by Dorothea Lange; from the New York Public Library

Dorothea Lange’s iconic photo “Migrant Mother” symbolizes the hunger, poverty and hopelessness endured by so many Americans during the Great Depression. You probably have heard the story of how she was left destitute with many children to feed and had to sell the tires from her truck to feed them. Lange’s photograph was instrumental in the government’s move to send food out to families left without work in the Dust Bowl.

What you might not know is that the portrait subject’s name is Florence Owens Thompson and she was not a stereotypical Dust Bowl refugee. She was a fighter for her children and she was resilient. While a young mother, she typically picked around 450-500 pounds of cotton a day, leaving home before daylight and coming home after dark. President Ronald Reagan said, “Mrs. Thompson’s passing represents the loss of an American who symbolizes strength and determination in the midst of the Great Depression.”

When viewing any piece of media it is very easy to see one story and miss the other meaning. To someone who knows nothing about the “Migrant Mother”, it might seem as though it is about a helpless woman. This is not the case – while she lived a life of severe hardship – the real story is about her love for her children and her strength.

MY LOVE ❤️ by Ekaterinaina Cherepanova
My son is the biggest source of happiness and love 😍

Here is a modern day beautiful photo of a mom and her child – thank you Ekaterinaina. Many of us, whether a mom or not, are in fact stronger than we think.

We wanted to share an article with you today on how to cultivate strength:

Hope is one way:

“The power to access the belief that things can get better, no matter the challenges, can quite literally change the world. … At its heart, hope is a perception—but one that gives us the power to create reality. It’s a perception of something that does not yet exist. And research shows that when people have hope, their goals are actually more likely to become reality. That’s because when people have a clear belief about what is possible, they’re more likely to take steps to make it happen. It’s tempting to lose hope today, but that would be surrendering a vital power.” -David Feldman, Ph.D.

While the “Migrant Mother”  photo has been around for almost a century, its core demonstration of strength, resilience, and hope, has allowed it to pass the test of time. 

What stories can you tell through photographs?

The Team here at SeeingHappy


The team here at SeeingHappy are all photographers who enjoy the process of creating memorable photos. We are a mix of educators striving to share their knowledge and psychologists dedicated to increasing happiness in the world.

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