Saturday, April 4, 2009

Is This Compassion or Guilt?

A photograph is a just a frozen moment in time.  If anyone looks at this particular photograph, assumptions are made.  First, this is probably a picture of these brothers standing in their backyard.  Second, the photographer is probably the mother or father.  Third, the tallest is the oldest, the second tallest is the middle boy and the shortest is the youngest.
If you look closely at the photo you see the oldest boy standing there with half a smile and half a grin.  The middle boy is standing there looking at the youngest boy with either a sad look or a caring look.  And the youngest boy is walking away from the other two crying.
Now one might wonder why the youngest is crying and the oldest boy's face shows nothing.  The youngest could be crying for any number of reasons.  He could have been stung by a bee, he could have pricked his finger on a rose, he could have been told to stand still for the photo and just got upset and began to cry.
I find it interesting that as upset as he seems to be, he is not looking to this brother for a quantum of solace.  Nor is he walking toward the photographer who like I said is probably the mother or father.
He might be walking towards the other parent who might be present in the backyard or he just wants to get away from the situation. 
If one of the brothers had made him cry, he probably would be looking back at that father.
If one of the brothers had made him cry and was feeling guilty, that brother probably would have been looking towards the parent, trying to tell them he didn't do it.  What i see in the photo is the oldest brother smiling for the camera, the middle brother wondering why the little one is crying and the youngest brother crying because he was a big cry baby.


  1. I guess it could be a guilty look the little guy on the right has on his face, maybe he pinched or kicked his baby brother, but I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it is compassion he's feeling, maybe he's thinking, "Oh, the poor baby isn't feeling himself today." Or maybe his look is, "Oh, here we go again, this kid is always crying!"
    So I'd like to hear from subject himself. Is it compassion? Is it guilt? Or are you just fed up with him?

  2. As an unbiased observer I have two comments.
    First that has to be the cutest little guy I have ever seen. Second, it seems pretty obvious to me that the look on the middle child is guilt. The cute little guy was obviously standing there smiling at his parents, ready for the picture, when boom he was kicked by the guilty one (note the placement of his shoe). Also note the look of the older one, I see disgust, he has obviously seen this before.

  3. Also, I see you finally got 'quantum of solace' down pat! I am literally laughing out loud. I keep reading this over and over!

  4. "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." When you call that cute little one a “big cry baby” you seem to be showing maybe, a quantum of culpability.