• SBS

Celebrating Dewitt Jones, creating what's right with the world by photographing it

Ok, maybe I'm not the last person in the world to see this amazing talk by former National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones, recorded in May of 2018. But well over a million other people have. If you haven't done so, drop everything and watch here: https://youtu.be/gD_1Eh6rqf8 . if you have seen it, just watch it again.


I so loved his discussion of reframing, one of the most important practices of Appreciative Inquiry, the facilitation method that I train. Also, I loved his saying that there is no one perfect answer, and how we each have multiple lenses of possibility. So many of us understand that it is important to look for what is working, what is beautiful, what is possible, but I think we might just underestimate how important it is. Jones says,


"... you know, whenever I could get a lock on what was right with a situation then I was passionate, energized to enhance that and get rid of everything else. Instead of starting as we so often do by griping about what's wrong with the situation, what's right with it? Because that connects us with our passion, that energizes us. Celebrating what's right gives us the energy to find that next right answer."


Well there it is-- looking for and finding what's right, what's working, what you can love about something isn't just about how good that makes us feel-- although it does. When we do that, though, we have "the energy to find the next right answer." We will create more that is good and beautiful. Unfortunately, I think the opposite is also true, that is, when we look for what is bad and painful and terrible and focus there, we get stuck, dispirited, mean-- and then we go find and replicate more of that in the world. What lens are you using the most, and what are you creating with the lens that you have?

I'm grateful to Dewitt for his photographer's perspective and helping open my possibilities a little more. I wonder how many of his National Geographic photographs had already done that years ago...