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Life is NOT FAIR!!!


Your clothes are torn or missing buttons, your plastic sandals are held together by tape, there are fleas jumping on your feet, mosquitoes biting you, there is sewage in the streets outside your home and you live in a room made up of corrugated metal sheets. 

While on the other side of the barbed wires is group of photographer wearing clothes with Nike logos, boots to protect their feet from the fleas/sewage, mosquitoes that magically avoid them, expensive camera gear, iphones and more...

And at this time you cant help but to think to yourself: LIFE IS JUST NOT FAIR!!

I am not a photo journalist...but while taking this photos I couldn't help but think about the emotions she may have experienced while we were photographing her. Feel free to share your experience. 

FYI: This photo was taken in the Barrio (Slums) of Nicaragua on our recent trip there. #tglnicaragua , +Empowerment International, +The Giving Lens 

Enjoy & Share.
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as well as the emotions and thoughts you had.  HT +Jay Patel for your transparency and honesty.  It's the only way change occurs.
Life is not fair, but we need to be careful not to impose our values and project our own desires on others. She needs to be healthy and happy. I would not wish some things in our society on her. We have far too much and do not value what we have, nor the world that gives us it. Perhaps she has less, but values it more.
IMO that tension is what makes this such a brilliant photograph. Reminds me of that Afghani girl on the TIME cover.
Srikar G
Well maybe one can donate and try improving other's lives. We also have to realize that our donations can only improve their lives to a very small extent, as there is overwhelming poverty n suffering in the world around us. But still, I have to say that I feel I'm very lucky to have a better life and not to suffer like the girl in the picture, but feel for their suffering and my helplessness in not being able to solve their problems. It's a strange clash of emotions and one of the great ironies of life. 
When I travel to countries where people have so much less, they seem happier than at home where we have so much. We do not appreciate the things that should matter. We waste so much. We do not need most of what we have.

I like to see people who value family, respect other people and who have enough, but not too much. Safety, health and happiness are most important.
Real Excellent photograph  very nice Mr. Patel
For we who have abundant, must always value and treasure what we've been blessed. And learn to bless others with what we have been abundantly blessed. For it's not what we have make us whole, but the values of our life, and the blessings we can give to others.

Thanks for a really good share, JP.
+Roy Charles Well said...I have seen that first hand. I will share more photos when they get processed. We got a glimpse of what life was like as kids got ready for school one morning. 
This is a beautiful photo of a beautiful child in a sad situation. It takes collective effort to change things like this.
+Roy Charles It was taken in Barrios (Slums) of Nicaragua. You can look at the detail section to see the lens, camera information about the photo. 
+Thanks +Jay Patel
. My son has been to Nicaragua. I have been to Honduras and Cost Rica. Beautiful countries. Beautiful people. Nicaragua is on my list. 
This is similar to the dilemma of the reporter filming a crime - should he help the victim or should he film it and show the world what happened? Personally I do not know which is the 'right' thing to do.
Don't think she really understands that much @ such an early age. Although later in life she will look @ it in retro and recall the moments.
Ldkiya shadi krke ajnbi k ghr q jati h?Bcoz wo GOD ki wo Pariyan h,jo apne ghr ko khushiyo se bhrne k baaddusro k ghr ko b khushiyo se sjati
+Jay Patel Maybe next time get to know her and make a human connection before or after you take her photo.
The beautiful and most humbling thing about a child is innocence. At this age she might not had developed the taiste for bitterness and resentment at how unfair life is. She looks at this people taking pics and says to herself, one I will be just like them! I will rise from this. Grown ups how have experianced failure at trying to lift themselves from poverty, for what every socio/economic reason tend to harbour such feelings....
iff  the child is much poor then i think it is looking much innocenct..
+Harald Walker We will try to go there again early next year and see what we can do....Good suggestion.
+Adhish Majumdar I think that you need that to connect with your subject and this should show in the picture and with luck it will transfer to the audience. That connection will be more emotive than any essay we could hope to write. I don't think that you can be dispassionate and be successful.
life is not fair, so what, ain't telling nothing new, oh wait, yes,I feel touched now.
Life isn't  fair. Those of us with resources have a personal obligation to do what we can. Unfortunately many governments and societies do not care what the condition of their citizens is.
I am not quite sure I understand the idea behind this post it is pretty much stating the obvious. 
This is so very true. We can't forget about the emotions among the many who look into the lens or eyes of others more fortunate...I know first hand. She is beautiful.
<3 it!! Raising awareness is value with pictures like this across the GLOBE is powerful. "Posed for a cause."
+Elizabeth Gordon This is NOT posed...She was just there looking at other photographer trying to take her photo.
+Jay Patel , thanks, people like u,  a very famous one think for this cruel reality of our society? To me, it is a wonderful hope of future world
We too often take for granted the luxuries such as a new pair of shoes and clothing while so many people, such as this beautiful child are faced to lived in squalor and disease infected areas. I too wonder what thoughts passed through her mind as she was being photographed.
And what did you do with such emotion?
+tultul Ganguly Thanks to people who run the program (staff at +Empowerment International) that help us get there...and teach some of these kids photography. While I had to give ONLY a week in my life....the staff the older kids stay and teach some of these kids every day.
Inequality is a curse on human race;few enjoy while others suffer.Thank you,Jay, for highlighting a cruel fact.
The description doesn't agree with the picture. You should include the other subject in your frame.  However, this shows bravery and determination.  
I'd help iv I'd had da chance bcuz dat wud b da rite thang tou dou. 
I don't think you chose to be a photo journalist, you capture the situation very well...
so pretty i want to drive my mustang under a full moon!
All I read here is talk. Everyone is right this isn't fair, but what are we going to do about it??? If your sincere enough become educated in the solutions that top scientific and engineering minds are proposing. Things can be different if you stop complaining and start sharing and educating others about the solution. The world does not need sincerity or compassion. Without a tangible solution these words are meaningless. What the world needs is a redesign of her culture centered around the intelligent management of all its resources.

There is a planned and tested solution. Educate yourself. Sign the free world charter.

Learn of the aims and direction of +The Venus Project

And then do something. Like this comment and pass it on. This is how you show the girl in the picture you care.

Do nothing and nothing happens.
Life is not fair... it's a fact. What we do about that fact is what really matter. 
The picture is great by the way.
Happiness is what matters the most. She seem happier to me than most of the kids I have seen wearing "Nike" clothes and playing "Angry Birds" all day. She may be playing with the real birds. Life isn't fair :)
But, YES, I do agree with you. Everyone should breath clean air and  drink clean water; no slums and no disease.
BTW, beautiful picture. Thank you for sharing. Big fan of your work.
Just a parent of three kids that loves children and hate to see any
I got a very similar shot years ago after hurricane Mitch. We went to Nicaragua to cover the story and what amazed me was for all the incongruence between us these people who had lost everything (and didn't have much to begin with) were so very kind and generous....more so than most people on wealthier nations. 
The saying goes...nobody dies a virgen cause the world fucks us all.
+Ryan Kramb No...we spend a week teaching a group of kids on how to use a camera and help them setup their own art gallery. We want to find a sustainable solutions. if Walmart, Cosco and the other maga money magnets just disappeared how many of us here in the US could remain happy, healthy and still get out of bed in the morning? 
Ha, this reminded me of my ex who complained and contemplated running away from home because her parents decided to postpone getting her a car for...two weeks. First world problems much?
Behind barbed wire with the dream of freedom so I see this man in the photo.
I see the quiet curiosity of a child in her face.  The barbed wire serves to remind us that there is division in the moment between haves and have nots.  A fascinating shot.  No way to tell on which side of the barbed wire happiness resides.  Thanks for sharing.
A very impressing picture! Even the "background" of the story isn't "nice".
I hate seeing a child suffering.He/she did not like neither did they ask to be in that state
She seems know what's happening.
Seen these type of conditions in South America before. Never been to Nicaragua personally. However, it sounds just as heartbreaking. Reminds me of the young children (I mean 3years old and up) selling cigarettes in the medians of busy streets in heavy traffic. I've never lost those images. 
thats not cool she must have felt really bad about some people taking photos of her suffering! I know they don't mean bad but think about the kids
Life is fair! Life is unfair to you, Life is unfair to me, And life is unfair to everyone! No exceptions, so meaning life is really that fair.
if you want fair why not give at least something to her when u get something out of this picture ;(
I like the way you took this picture, it is very natural without artificial posing, that's the true definition of taking pictures, and that is my style.  Thank you for sharing.
That's a great image of an encounter of two very different realities that met in a moment. The barb wire is the border the symbolizes the separation of those two worlds. Even though they are both real, to each other, they are surreal. You can't comprehend her world and she can't comprehend yours. Yet both worlds co-exist in the same planet.
I'm glad that you had this beautiful human experience... Yes I agree with not trying to impose our values and inject or culture on others but a...little help will come in handy.
Hi I'm Carlos I grew in similar conditions in a little town in el Salvador I live in the states now (legally) and I remember how happy I was when I saw those big foreigners with toys and clothes and I'm not trying to offend anyone but yes the word of God that changed my life, so next time you make a trip to this poor countries bring something for a little child that like me was changed forever, (you don't have to be religious) just human and you will enjoy the beautiful human experience.
and still all you thought of doing was take a photograph...
I am no photographer, but I think you are pretty accurate in what the girl must be thinking.
Jay - You are really talented. Excellent photo that tells a story.
George MacPherson: Jay Patel had delivered the message at his best. Now what can you do?
This could be the U.S.A. without barb wire, a camp in the woods or on a city street, her mother standing beside her, just as dirty and bitten up from sleeping out doors. Homeless is Homeless no matter where you are. 
Did you ever think that taking this picture of this little girl who is less fortunate than others and sharing it on the Internet is a little disrespectful. I don't think sharing posts like this is the way to help others in need. Instead of taking photos of them you should actually do something about it. Take initiative and help those in need instead of posting there misfortunes on the Internet. If you were there then you had the opportunity to help in whatever way you could but instead were photographing her. 
Danny C
Ironic isn't it? Pretty things get the attention. Definitely not fair. :)
beny xu
Well, this girl will still pictures her self lucky compared to those afrikan kids
 i guess she was happy that some one is taking her photo  because to her the world and life is what ever within this fence  any ways thank you Mr. Jay patel for sharing both the picture and thoughts. 
"Life is not fair" implies that we are all playing the same game with the same victory conditions, and that somehow some of us have an "unfair" advantage in the game. In fact, different cultures have different standards of success and happiness, so measuring "fairness" is a difficult thing. 
A photojournalist would be thinking that he has a responsibility to tell her story to try to shed light on her situation and try to motivate people to help. A tourist worries about whether or not he is a bad person because he happens to be born into a better situation. You have shot a beautiful portrait. 
I can't help thinking it doesn't have to be this way.
It makes you think +Jay Patel and more so as we head toward financial hardship in other countries there are some at home that don't even have enough to feed themselves, sad state of affairs.
We can help. We can make a difference in her life and more if we try. It's the least we can do. 
Please tell me that after you had this thought you did something for this little girl.
Yes, agree, life is not fair... Poor guys who has to wear nike shoes,  expensive clothes, expensive cameras and expensive iphones, and they feel that they has more luck than a poor girl?... Life it's a long path to walk and it's hard to say who has more luck than others, but yes, could be, maybe? I don't know... nice pic!
Prayer changes things so let's make a difference in her and other's life, it could have easily been your child.
Life is only as fair as we choose to make it. 

+Ed Tuthill I agree with you that it is impossible to make life perfectly fair.  That does not mean we should do nothing to make life more "fair" (what ever that is).  Because something cannot be made perfect, does not mean it should not be made better. 

Declining to do something good because you can't do something perfect is a common excuse, and is known as "perfect is the enemy of good". 
Well it may seem like its so unfair but if you learn to pray and believe God will work in your behalf,Another thing sometimes the end of a matter is so much better than the beginning.So hold on and know its going to get better.
I agree, life doesn't play fair to everyone in it. Some ppl live a blessed life and take it for granted while others struggle daily for the necessities we require to live.
Eng Por
That's so true. It makes you wonder why many of us are still unhappy with what we have. We live on the same planet but a different world. I'm pretty sure she was delighted to see you?? 
I think she is content about who she is, however, she may not know that she may be able to become more than what she is today in time, nobody else knows what that is but herself. Unfortunately in developing countries people hardly break away from old habits. Nice picture. Multiple interpretations
This reminds me of The Hunger Games sooooo much! And the little girl looks soo much like Rue!!!! (Minus the clothes)


Team Gale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And this is how an American looks at it …That is why we are a very strong people… we want to change bad things….is that a bad thing?
+thomas o'brien are correct. But there is a well established organization (+Empowerment International) that work to provide access to the equipment the kids need to learn photography and create artwork that they can use to fund future projects. We are there to find sustainable solutions for the community. 

+Empowerment International works with the local school system to provide access to knowledge, equipment and training the local students. This gives students incentive to finish school and give them training at the same time.
Ghetto - living place of one group of religious or cultural people. 
(nothing negative about it).
  "life is not fair"!!  
  .  .  . Seeing the photographers gives truth to your  understanding that there is equality among all people.  That we all have our own power and strengths.  That we are shaped and feel, see and think alike.  But, knowing this does not make what you need most,  magically appear.  All of the luxury you lack does not comfort you.
  You have been working daily and using you mind and effort to survive and find your place of peace in this world, only to be overtaken by exhaustion each day.  You often end each day  not one step closer that you are aware of , toward a better live.  Hunger, cold and sadness are still your companions.   You have worked and strove through your time simply to wake another day. . .

( for Jay Patel )
I'm curious to know where it says "life is fair". 
Leslie, those who come from difficult environments are so much stronger and staunchly able to take life's knocks than those who have lived the good life all their lives.  Do-gooders are not able to grasp what they've missed because they did not have to go through what you have. 

The photographer or journalist documenting this photo is doing those who complain about poverty a favor by giving them something to complain about, all the while they, themselves do very little to change anything than just talk.

I appreciate your comment more than you know.  Fred
If only the rest of the world would take that hint, Jay.  Wonderful that you would take the time to notice such a thing.

Could you start a donation site to help feed, clothe, and educate her?  Minimal commitment, with maximum fundraising.
I would gladly give $5 if I knew it was getting her new sandals, a meal, or some decent clothes.
As poor as she may be and as unhealthy as her living conditions may be, she might be healthier inside than kids with IPads, new clothes with NIKE logos and nice boots, I bet she has NO food allergies, no ADD.... 
Your federal government is hard at work trying to legislate fairness.
That was a great post. It really gets to me when people whine and complain when there favorite food is gone at the grocery store or they don't have the size shirt the person needs at there favorite store. There are children all over the world who would do anything do have some kind of clean food and something more to wear then a tore up shirt. It is amazing to me how many people are suffering all over the world and someone's day is ruined when they the grocery store does not have there favorite candy. Ok, I am done ranting.
I do not disagree, but just think about if the subject were not conventionally pretty, how that would impact my reaction to the sentiment.
Blessed be are We while struggling long is She...
perhaps the wan smile on her face reflected the thought that she made those Nike shoes at the local sweatshop factory?
Well said, who is speaking up for the rights of the young world? There is an eternal revolution that we must all join in the avatar zone - Merton
I see a lot of people like this in a daily basis as a doctor working in a rural hospital in our country serving the people of the fishing villages around my small hospital. In a time where we speak highly of our achievements in all frontiers imaginable, I see children and elders being mistreated and forgotten. I wonder will we fit the definition of a "Human" as we so proudly say!
Is not, but who declares it should be ? It's up to us to make it more fairly...
+George MacPherson Jay came to a program via The Giving Lens that has been in affect for 7 years by an organization I founded ( +Empowerment International )  There is a lot being done about it, but real change takes time.  What started for me with helping 2 street children, has grown to 270 in two communities.  Our multifaceted holistic educational program (which has included photography as part of it for 5 years) is making real differences in our children's and their parents lives.  We have a school retention rate in each of our communities well above 92% and after working in this community for 7 years more than 80% of all school age children attend school (it was below 50% when we started).  Our first two university graduates already have their employment lined up when they graduate in January.  If anyone wants to do a bit more for the children and community that Jay and Varina will be showing photos of please do check us out. Our program really works but it is not a quick fix.

And +George MacPherson I do believe that many do talk, but if they know of a true way to help they would do it.   This is the reason I suggested to +Colby Brown that he consider coming down with some of his students to work with our photography program as fundraiser and responsible volunteer trip.  While I had mentioned this to others, it took several attemtps to find the photographer willing to take this effort on.  Now we have most of these trip participants twanting to help and they feel like they are a part of the solution, not just on the outside looking in.  

Why?  Because now they see the need, they see our work really is making a difference, and they see how thay can fit in to help.  We also have other types of tours like this including a bike tour where people can raise funds while connecting with our kids and seeing their country side by side with them.   Instead of just suggesting they contribute to a cause we are trying finding a way to get them to be a part of the solution as well, while always empowering our community, not going in as a bunch of gringos photographing them disrespectfully.

 Again, like I said, real change takes time and it is our responsibilty as ground people to be a part of the bigger solution, helping kids is part of it but teaching those more blessed people born on the right side of the tracks so to speak  about what they can do  and find ways to give them real oppotunities to be a part of the solution.  It is that, that will change the world.

I am proud to say that is what happened when Colby decided to take my idea to a different dimension and started  +The Giving Lens.    

I think all team 1 members will concur.  
+Michael Bonocore +Kate Siobhan Havercroft  +Sherry Heitmeyer +NUBIA RICHMAN +Mitch Kloorfain +Wes Lum +Varina Patel +Jay Patel 

The above people have the most amazing souls and interest in making a difference.  We were blessed to be a part of that and I am looking forward to much more joint work with them and our team.

Meanwhile lets keep helping our kids and planting more seeds. 
Life is not fair - who decides that we are on one side of the fences, an she is on the other? And who are we to decide not to do anything to help? 
If she were given a chance to live a life beyond slums she might very well reach acme of success.....Let us give the destitute and unprivileged Hope for a better life of Opportunities..
She looks very healthy, and clean. Even her dress is clean. FAKE
thats rude. she diserves to have a good life. no one diserves to not have a life, unless it was a criminal
i don't agree... don't assess the temporal course of justice in terms of ... not necessarily a rich multiplicity living in calmer circumstances than someone who lives from hand to mouth ...
but life is learning how to share and love ...
We humans created all these all over the globe....
Life is not fair! but why? who denied the better clothes and food to those kids? faith? If not how could expect a harmony 
What a beautiful child. She could be a model if her life were different. When I make my fortune I will help children like her. Until then I help who I can.
How to share and Love by keeping faith and being thankful for the life you have.  One can never be happy if they compare what they have with what another has.
I'm sorry to tell you +Jay Patel how wrong you are. It seems that you don't know anything about the Latinamerican countries and the way the "poor" people think and see you the "white and wealthy gringoes". What I'm sure about her is that she's happier with less than the average American kids so, where's the unfairness? I rather be happy with less than having all the crap you're mentioning.
I don't agree.  I think she's better off than US children who carry iPods, cell phones, and a laptop strapped over their shoulder.  She'll grow up to have an appreciation for what the  has and what she sees before her.
Could be a very happy young girl enjoying the interesting commotion and seeing strange new people with interesting new devices. She is beautiful and looks self-confident. I like your photo a lot. I think we need to remember how happy we were as children when we did not compare our life situation to others, but just enjoyed it. 
+Rebecca Bennett It could be for sure but in this case it is not.  +Jay Patel is helping us by sharing our work at +Empowerment International.  For that reason this girl (Giselle) is in school. Word of mouth is what funds her and the community to have a better life by education and we also show them ways of living beyond their small world (ie how to function outside barrio life so when they are professionals they fit in. ).  Our parents in the community sign waivers letting us use photos of the children to earn funds and promote our work. I can assure you if it was disrepectful we would not have let Jay and the other people from the group come down.  We always put our children first.

What is unfair is that if the child wasn't cute, no one would care, or even bother clicking that picture.

What is unfair is that most of us are content expressing our outrage and indignation from behind a computer. As if that meant anything more than posing as a humanitarian.
I think one of the toughest parts of being an international journalist would be going to impoverished or war zone areas and recording what is happening there without the ability to immediately help all of the individuals who are affected (except hopefully by reporting their plight).
+Ana Levy I never said anything about being poor or white or brown or black. I was just wondering if she experienced the emotion that "Life is Not Fair".
Nice picture really touches me thanks for posting it.
Life is a predicament for so many desperate creatures living on this planet where a lot of so called phianthropists and reformers are pioneering for the betterment and upliftment of such a creature.
Life most certainly isn't fair ... but she is beautiful. Wish there was equality when it comes to quality of life. Those Nike shoes and much of the camera gear the other side was wearing was mostly made from people in her situation/living conditions. I have a hard time processing that. :/
hell u want the funds from us why not sum culture to go with it?
I don't think life is fare at all . There is only the opportunity to make it work and go against life ,. I was on that spot where this girl is therefore I like this picture and think that life isn't fare ,but is our responsibility to take it on our hands and change the future,. For some people is hard to do it or at least to start making a change . 
life is not fair for millions of people around the world,they are victim of poverty,violence etc. "WHEN WILL THIS WORLD BECOME POVERTY LESS AND FAIR FOR MILLIONS"???
It's true life just cant be fare because there are sooo many people with different opinions and we cant agree with everyone... right ???
This post makes all the sense in the world. And here some of us area complaining about such petty things. Why is that?
La chiquitina es linda!  Y Nicaragua es una pais bella, tambien.  En todos que yo ha visto, Nicaragua es el pais me gusta mejor...a pesar de las difíciles vidas de la gente.
And many here want to force America into a political system that will reduce our grandchildren into the same poverty.....
I know a lot of photographers who go to places like this. They don't just snap a picture and walk away. They pay the subjects - well - for permission to take their photo. In places where money isn't helpful, they trade food, clothes, repellent, etc to the subjects of their photographs.
I hope you guys do something even a little for this poor little girl to make her delight and cherished it through all her time.
Bear in mind a little history. The last time the government in Nicaragua tried to help people like the girl in the picture it was the Sandanistas. The Republicans in the U.S. lost their shit and Reagan funded the Contras. An American named Benjamin Linder was among those the Contras murdered. He was working on small-scale rural electrification. After the Reagan administration stated it would "see no need" to fund the Contras anymore if the Sandanistas lost the election in 1987 they lost. The Chamorro govt started paying back the loans to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund which the Sandanistas suspended (The dictator, Samoza, took out those loans, therefore the Sandanistas argued that the WB and IMF should take up the matter with his estate and that the Nicaraguan people did not owe that money - Reagan, the U.S. govt, the IMF and hte WB disagreed). The austerity measures needed to pay back these loans directly cause the poverty you see - only one example you see in the picture above. If people really want to do something constructive to help the girl in the picture then debt forgiveness would do the most good. Why is this girl paying Samoza's 40 year old debt? It's really not too much of a stretch to connect these dots. 

For the libertarians who cry foul and ask where the money will come from: how about shutting down the IMF and WB, which have failed, then tax some multi-billionaires who will hardly miss so much money that they could not spend it in 10 lifetimes (unless you count the money they spend buying politicians, who tend to be the most expensive items the modern billionaire just has to have). 
You are so right life is not fair....we are rich here in the US because when children are poor we can still buy clothes for them some how...
A fantastic picture / brilliant post, can't help to wonder.... thanks!!!
i just finshed vacation and i found a shirt that says life is crap
"Life is fair"...believe in Karma..
and what did you do about it,other than just expressing your emotions here on g+?
I completely understand. I have pics of our +Center Circle LLC outreach players in Memphis, TN that give me the same feelings. A picture speaks volumes but the photographer feels volumes!
Ummm - Thomas you can never miss what you never had. Don't look down on others with pity. They don't look up to you with envy.  Every country and lifestyle has pluses and minuses.  Maybe her parents will live to be 80-90 years old and not getting cancer.  Maybe they won't get hit by some drunkdriver 'With' water and electricity (but no sense).

Enjoy life without so much judgement.
If you felt bad why didn't you help her? There's always a way to help..
photography with purpose gr8!!!
Ganesh Gupta - > Never force children to pray !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> At dinner, a little boy was forced to lead the family into prayer...
> Little Boy : But I don't know how to pray
> Dad: Just pray for your family members, friends and neighbours, the poor, etc.
> Little Boy:"Dear Lord" he started, "Thank u for our visitors and their children,
who finished all my cookies and ice cream.
Bless them so they won't come again.
Forgive our neighbour's son, who removed my sister's clothes and wrestled with her on her bed.
This coming Christmas, please send clothes to all those poor naked ladies on my daddy's blackberry.....
…..and Provide shelter for the homeless men who use my mom's bedroom when daddy is at work...AMEN ".............
> Mom and Dad did not have dinner that evening......*
Sad, just sad... And our foreign aid doesn't do a thing for these people. All the money goes towards government genocides and firearms. I would cut aid to these countries for a few years and force them to use the money right before we'd send welfare again. Just sad, there is not a problem that can't be fixed by hard work and care.
u must b a wonderful person jay the best..continue to do the good works u hv been doing...m sure u ll b bless!!!
So did you use your means to cloth her and buy her new shoes or were you in too much of a hurry to post your photo to try and make us all feel guilty? Life is not fair when the capable stand by and do nothing. If you did nothing other than take a picture then yes, life is not fair.
i bet this man is the only person that was thinking about this while the picture was being taken
"I matter enough to be taken a picture of. I am a worthy person and I can rise out of this."
I hope that or similar sentiments went through her head.
I guess we should be more councious into helping others ,these pics does bring reality to us and shows how a world of competition is out there but still people are struggling with poverty and miserable life...awareness awareness!!!
She is beautiful!!!!  Like Jessica above me, I hope she felt something like that as you were taking her picture.
More like people aren't fair. Her life, as it is, is because of people...
Modern life find happiness by buying things that we actually don't need it. In many poor country people are more happy because love is around them by people around them, family, friends. Things sometime not matter to them.
A beautiful people! I'm so gad that there are still souls behind the lenses out there!
It is sad but a very real story, It is not understood where you took the snap and why the fencing but if it is India the story is same everywhere. No clothes no shelter no food no education and no one to speak for them. 
Wow very sad makes you treasure the things you have in life...beautiful photo
This image captures a depth of sweetness and life that is held by an innocence that beauty reflects in the child's eyes, and each one of us sees it when we look; nothing else matters but to hold on and keep moving forward, and beyond poverty, as well as the challenges faced in it each day the circumstances or events present.  We ought to be grateful for all, especially as the grace in HER LIFE is recognizable in this image--a lesson any one can acknowledge.  Like her, I am blessed with the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to accept that things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  Thank you Jay Patel (photographer) for this gorgeous reminder of what/why/when/who/where and how life can be shared simply, beautifully.  
I'm uncomfortable when folks look at such pictures and think that life should be more fair.  Socialists often argue that life should be more fair and thereby justify forcibly redistributing wealth.

Instead, let's think about how we can voluntarily help people like this.  The best way to help them is by helping them help themselves.  Infrastructure and one on one tutoring are good places to start.  Another good place to start is to not buy stuff you don't need and put that money towards better causes.
Im nicaraguan Ive live and breath the story of this littl girl....i consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity for a better life and would never forget the suffering and the situation that my beautiful country lives thanks to the people that runs our lives as our so called leaders....thank you to the person who shot this picture ,because it shows that even the innocents suffers ....GOD BLESS YOU.
Exactly! There r ppl sitting at home complaining about how they can't go to the beach or they don't have the newest cleats or lip stick. All the person wants you to know when u don't get the newest thing thing or u don't get to go to the beach just remember these pic. Also always be thankful, do u think this girl eats dinner every night. NO! So just be thankful for what u have
My question is whether or not she was asked if it was okay to photograph her or if the photographers just took advantage of her for their photo journal.  When we travel on mission, we ask and in some cultures people expect to be paid if you take their photo.  While photos are important to get out the stories of need, please remember it is also important to respect the lives of the people we are trying to help and their privacy. 
Just looking at this photo you can see the sadness in her eyes, and i already get a feel for her struggles. it sucks that those of us who are more fortunate most of the time are too blind to realize how shallow we are; its pictures like these that should be shown more to open others eyes
It isn't so much that life isn't fair, but rather, it's people that aren't fair.

Nice photo though, if not disgraceful in some way.

However, just because one would be on the opposite side of the fence to this girl, it doesn't make them free to enjoy the richness of life either. We're cooped up and syphoned just as she is, just less so.
The degree is a matter of opinion where, sadly, human solidarity breaks down as people satisfy themselves.

I've never liked zoo's, by the way.
aaaaaawwwwwwwwwwww tht so sad but ths dumb insted of acually helping hr thy take a pikture
Angela, i understand you well, however that concern would be amongst us ppl, if you go to places such as these, flip up your camera, you will see all children and adults lining up infront of the cam, even though they them self will have a faint chance of watching the finished footage.  Its okay, i guess not every one has experienced visiting the poor ppl :(
This post reminds me of a mail that was forwarded around a couple of years ago... 'Never complain, Be thankful for what you have', wherein there many comparisons contradictorily, wherein, the children of financially sound parents who can afford good and luxury things in their life was photographically compared with what the children of slums in the developing countries Have.... for eg., the privileged children complain for branded shoes, whereas footwear of the underprivileged were nothing but flattened mineral water bottles strapped with ropes; some complain for variety food plates, whereas a child was shown eating food from a dried Skull... and many more such pathetic photos!!
"sorry to bother you but can i get a picture of you to tell people to help you without really helping you myself?"
I dont think people needs any founds to do better, they need culture yes (but not from John Springer) and they need education more than anything else ,. People learn and when they do they become better person . 
she probly didn't care so the phtotgrapher took advantage
Beautiful little girl. It's a shame that governments have to hold all the funds and not help our neighboring country. Complete shame.
I see no context in the image itself, so the content is meaningless to me.
i wont touch that if i were her!!! ouch
If yall take pictures of her what does she think??
"Oh, I should pose!"
No, she to you may be like a pet wanted for 1 thing and no more...
Nicely expressed her :-)
live is hard for a lot of people it ain't always daisy's and apple juice
It's a sad picture to see but there's not much we can do here but hope and pray for these kids but on the other side people here complain about everything we have it's a shame
people don't respect poor, awe at rich
+Jay Patel , I was avioding this picture for all the reasons you wrote about it. I have watched documentaries of this very topic ,and being the big cry baby I am . Is why it took so long to go to this image . It is a great capture of the little girl ,and wondering what exactly is she thinking about ? and what are doing ? I like the photo ,but I dont like the reality behind it . It breaks your heart to see this suffering. But its a gd. Share to make others aware " if you think you have problems" ? Think twice !
LIFE IS FAIR..... Wait, think and decide who is making life unfair??? Who put the barbed wires, who stole all their resources, Who does not want then to be self sufficient, Who is throwing millions of tons of crops/edibles in sea to maintain the so-called economy but not providing to these hungry kids... these are us who are making LIFE NOT FAIR .... sorry if i hurt any one of you...............
:( thats sad..... but dont u think the wires to separate them are a bit to extreme?!
Baz Ali
Life is a birthplace lottery. What opportunities you have will mostly depend on where you have been born. There will always be exceptions to this. My best wishes to her for the future.
The other side did work hard to get there
Jay patel what you do with freedom shows, on the other side of barbed wire
BORING???????, What kind of statement is that about any child having to live like that? JESUS!!!!
Pro-tip: Don't shit where you sleep. Learn some basic hygiene and waste-handling measures and stop sloshing through raw sewage. A little ingenuity and hard work goes a long way.
Don't come to conclusion. Just because. She is standing behind barbed. Wire
I Agree.. Life is Unfair . . . . . . . At times..
Life is UN fair and that's have nothing to do with basic hygiene, 
if it were fair,it should come to its end,then.nothing to fight for +Jay Patel ,cheers
Yes, we'll said Scott. When you were 8 years old, you were running waste water management and creating programs to combat famine in your third world nation. Thank you. 
Life is always fair. Rather it's the people who have made this society where money is everything. That's unfair. Why does happiness and money have to correlate?? ❔everytime good going rich people say they feel for the poor, that's unfair. These people try to impose the thinking that iPhone and SLR and good clothes are the benchmarks of happiness. Well I say, let's change the thinking. Let's not relate these two things together. 
I think the problem has more to do with what we, who have and waste so much, think the kid should think. I was in Syria years ago and saw a lot of poverty there. Entire families living in the ruins of touristy areas and the desert, no running water, kids wearing ragged clothes, etc. And yet, I saw beautiful and genuine smiles and heard children's laughs booming everywhere.  

We have to be careful not to mistake our emotions for pity. Yes, these people have way less than us in terms of financial security, but they make do with the smallest thing.

I am not saying that we should not wish them a better life. Quite the contrary! All I am saying is that we should stop feeling pity for people in poorer countries. You would be surprised at what they can teach us about happiness -- which is something a lot of us in rich countries are far from qualified to do. 
welcome to life on earth with the human race, jay patel.
For me this photo and the quote "Life is NOT FAIR" is breaking. Traveled to India and then to Jammu Kashmir Ladak and experienced the same thing. This is the sort of thing that drives me to take photographs and love the art of photography. 
It makes me so sad, I'm commenting this on my expensive android while sweet little girls like that can't even have a belly full meal :'( Once I have a job, I wanna donate a portion of my money to help little children like this. Perhaps I will buy a doll for a little girl.
All of our problems are technical, including housing, food, the provision of clean water, health care and education. They can't be solved by opinion or monetized opinions, only science has answers to problems like these. If you move money out of the way and ask if we have the resources to provide global abundance, the answer is yes.
+Cendrine Marrouat, +Chandrakant Sutar Agreed...Take a look at this post: ?

+Jason Hybner We did go to Barrios JUST to take photos...we went there to teach kids how to photograph and help them setup a gallery to sell their prints. This and other photograph were result of the trip. Feel free to read the post or find out more about what we did.

+Jessica Collins She is not homeless.

+Mike Grimmett We did no such thing...instead we spend a week helping kids learn how to photograph their culture and country and help them set up a art gallery. We like to look for sustainable solutions.
Some rich people dont even. Deserve the big houses tht they hav and the cool cars and clean clothes these people deserve it not them 
she look cry far too old for her age, so sad
her dress is gorgeous.... but her face looks sad
+thomas o'brien & +Jason Hybner  - Actually +Jay Patel was one of my participants on this trip, that was run via my company +The Giving Lens. The trips we offer around the world attempt to blend photo education and support for sustainable development initiatives and NGOs, such as +Empowerment International on this specific trip. Each trip acts as a fundraiser for the organization and cause we are supporting, in this case it is child education, later this year we also fight for women's rights in Jordan, cultural understanding in Israel/Palestine and another child program in Cambodia. Next year we are expending to 11 other countries. Having worked as a humanitarian photographer for roughly my entire career (9 years), I know the in's and outs of poorly supporting causes and initiatives. At the end of the day, the idea is to actually empower the local communities in these countries to survive and grow on their is NOT to just give hand outs, which in fact causes more issues and promotes a "hand out" mentality and cycle of dependance on foreigners. Showing up and improving their living conditions temporarily solves nothing. Educating, instructing and giving these people the opportunity to lift themselves up is what creates sustainability. You sound very cynical, which may or may not be valid, but making assumptions to the purpose this trip or +Jay Patel's intentions really just rubs me the wrong way. If you want to have a discussion on the complexities, corruption and sheer numbers of NGOs and support companies (similar to +The Giving Lens) that are causing much more harm then good...I am happy to indulge...
Wes Lum
+Rebecca Bennett, just to stand by what +Kathy Adams and Empowerment International teach kids to learn skills so that they can be successful when they grow up.  Without images like this and public discussion how would anyone know or discover the truth?  Word of mouth?  I can tell you first hand, before I went to Nicaragua, I did not believe this existed to the extent it did.  Giving these kids the confidence to succeed as adults is invaluable!

+thomas o'brien, her name is giselle and we worked with many of these kids over the past week to help them learn about using a camera, composition, and even the process of framing and matting.  It's a great thing.  It's also a very difficult thing to find a balance between compassion and charity.  It has been an eye opener for learn and meet these children.  They taught me more than I taught them.

+Jason Hybner actually, we did talk with many of families.  We spent a week working with the kids and teaching them about photography...barely enough time.  I wish I could be there longer.
all of us in the world today dont understand wat it would b like to b in this position and we r very lucky and half of the people in the world act like snobs when they dont get that pair of shoes in the color they wanted how do u think like that when there is poverty and starvation going on all aroud u y i dont understand and so many people take the things they have for granted they just dont understand i am nothing more than some small town person  in my town even there so many people r less fortunate than me and they live in places that no other could live but some how they survive let this b known DONT TAKE THE THINGs U HAVE FOR GRANTED!!!
Wes Lum
Surprisingly, there are still good people in this world...and not everything is done to take advantage of others.
I just hope you guys did something, anything, to make her life a little better, and as many more as you could. If you just went there and used them as "targets", just as any blue jay or tucan you found, then you have a load of bad karma as big as your 600mm f/4 on your backs...
Poor thing! You should have given her some propper shoes at least! :'( she is so cute!
Samantha Jackson has a great point.
Well said +thomas o'brien and I certainly do agree about Africa. I have seen some amazing things happening in the world of micro-lending organizations helping small businesses get loans and then have them pay it back. It is a proven statistic that having those being helped contribute something back (no matter how small), gives them a sense of ownership to the project in question and improves the chances of success dramatically!
Humbling... She has the demeanor of a POET... WARRIOR... THEORIST... BURACRAT... DEMOCRAT.
She will go into her choices as if her life depended on it... Her faith in the invisible sustaining life cause the visible is bleak and conservative
makes you stop and think.. when I see the pictures of kids laughing and enjoying the day when they have so little.. maybe we can learn from them what is really important in life
+thomas o'brien I worded it the way I felt and my world conclusion was from your experiences and world view. I had no idea what her name was when I was shooting or when I posted this....In other words there was no story, just a photo.
+Helder Louro and +David Robertson, I think you are totally missing the point here. The idea behind Jay's picture is not bad at all. It's just the message he attached to it that could have been delivered better.

We actually need to see pictures like this one to realize that our First World Problems are extremely stupid. 

But we need to stop thinking like Occidentals when we react to it. 
+Cendrine Marrouat My message behind the image was simple...Pure and RAW emotions. Nothing more nothing less..They were my emotions and thoughts. 
Yes, but the problem I have with it, is that you chose to look at the picture and the kid with pity, rather than compassion. 

Take this comment like a personal opinion, and not a judgment.

When I was in Syria, I visited the Great Mosque of Damascus. As a woman, I had to wear a veil and cover myself with a long gown. All the time, all I could think of was how constraining this was, and how unhappy women in that country must feel.   

When I left the mosque and was finally rid of that extra layer of clothes, I took a look around me. I saw women laughing and chatting noisily among one another. I also saw freedom written all over their faces. The lesson I learnt is that no matter how constrained others may want you to feel, you are the only one responsible for your own happiness.  

It's the same for this kid. She is more than a poor child living in the Barrio in Nicaragua. Way more! 

Yes, life isn't fair. But saying it will do nothing to change the situation. 
Life may not be fair but come judgement day, all is rebalanced.
+Cendrine Marrouat No offense taken...I really enjoyed your comments. Education and Compassion was what we were in Nicaragua for and we spend quite a bit of time doing that. However as humans (and NOT Vulcans) we are not always in control or our things like pity creep in at times. ;)))

FYI: I grew up in India surrounded by images like this one...and lot of my friends were in similar situation. I am not stranger to this.
End capitalism. Start with technical solutions for all.  Scarcity is kind of a myth when you consider our capacity for innovation.  
+Jay Patel trust me, I completely understand! That's why I explained myself further. The picture is beautiful (as your other pics) and I know the intent was there. 

When you have some time, please let me know more about this project through email ( I am always interested in interviewing folks who use their skills wisely. ;-)
Lifes not fair, yeah yeah... NO S***. This is a poor example 
What's fair got to do with anything. Can you live a HAPPY life is the issue? While you think STUFF is what you need to be happy, you always going to have a problem.
I was born into similar circumstances as this child. My biggest blessing.
She appears to be innocent to material wealth. Poor but happy is what I see on her face. Thanks for sharing your photo.
I was born in Nicaragua. Don't know how it looks tho cause I came here when I was 2 and never went back.
She's neither looking sad nor sick. True, she should have a decent place to live and sufficient food. "Our world" is as messed up as hers. She would do great in our society knowing where she came from. If you send our spoiled brats to "her world" they would DIE from feeling sorry for themselves...
It is all about our own life experience - we can't project what we think she would be feeling as we have never been were she is - I once had to travel with police to a remote community where a 13 year old girl was reported to have been raped by an uncle who had been released from prison where he'd been for raping other children - he was told he could not return to this community but he ignored that and within a day of arriving had two teens in a creek bed and raped one girl while the other escaped and raised the alarm.  When we arrived at 3am the adults supposedly caring for the girl had gone to sleep and left her alone to wait.  Her father was in prison having killed her mother with an axe which she had seen.  When we talked to her she was chatty and wanted to know about the trip as if it was something exciting.  The police easily 'arrested' the uncle who was there and hadn't run.  We returned in the one vehicle - the uncle in the 'cage' in back.and me and the girl in a seat just in front.  The girl chatted and wanted to know about where she'd be going and when we said a nearby town she seemed pleased.  Back in the station it was still very early and the welfare hadn't arrived so I took her home with me and made her a breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast which she loved and had seconds.  She watched cartoon videos and laughed at the silliest things.  I felt for her but in fact I haven't a clue what could of been in her mind.  Her life would probably not be getting much better.
Yes .. she sure is a pretty lil girl > I feel so bad for these ppl that live that way /// so sad!!!!!
This beautiful land the land of the free home of the brave. This is way we can coment about different thought we have in our mind. I was once there at the same place I was born there and I used to see people like you taking picture of me and one time one then toll me how this beutifull was and I decided to be here. They toll me that this was the only place were you can have anything you wanted and no one can take it away from you. The problem any dream any though you have over there some one is ready to take it away from you why becaused you are not prepared to do other wise. So most people come here to get educated and then go back to take everything the you want to full feel there dreams. Look arround over there and you will see that's the thrue.the best way to fixed is to tell the that they can do it to. I was once elegal here and some people pay less than the minimum wages but the did not stop me to get to were I want to be free and independent. Today I am an American and proud because I walk a long way. So be reasonable if you hire some one pay what is right. With justice and done tri to put people down just because they are not like us.
Beautiful portrait... What a cute girl, and a deep look.  Congrats.  Hope your work in Nicaragua inspires some kids...
As the title says, "LIFE IS NOT FAIR".  Who ever said life was supposed to be fair, anyway?  While I feel for the girl, life is what you opt to make of it.  There are always ways, avenues, and opportunities to go from where you are at to where you want to be.  It's just a matter of how much effort do you want to put into it, and how well you plan it.
One thing I can think of...she's beautiful!
BT Tee
A child is a happy child anywhere until we gift them with pity and our own standards. Then we go back home while the child is left in self pity/anger for the rest of his life.

Replace your pity with respect.
She was probably just curious. I doubt she was thinking about fairness at all....
That's just cruel if I was there I would give her some clothing or my shoes just seeing how this is truly does show how life is unfair. 
Puc ca
let's peaceful for our world.
Our purpose in life is to make it so. Make it so. Thank you for sharing.
It's a stunning picture. She is absolutely beautiful in an ugly world.
The Heart and The Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, The Making of a Navy SEAL; highly recommend this book for anyone who is touched by this post. Good on you Mr. Patel for your wisdom to see the truthes in life most ignore. Hope you use that wisdom to change lives not just publicise there misfortunes.
Life not fair?...tell it to the rich!
A beautiful young lady in tragic circumstances. I begin to understand what drives you to photograph in these areas.
Ami Imm
Wow she's absolutely gorgeous
life shouldn't have to be like that unfortunately it just is :/
She'll have things in her character that the photographers are lacking in...xX
for her to live that way shes really kute
Every time one of my friends says, "Life's not fair", I'm tempted to say, "Compared to what?"
i know that  life is not fair but i dont get what the pic is all bout
Drop the camera and lend a hand!!
Someone please tell her thats not safe.....
Tin Bui
But without the photogs the world would never know about her plight.
Thats really a sad fact that we cant deny :(
Truely she might lack what you possess but the environment in which reside makes her to have little things to worry about unlike we in the cities. I believe she also have what we lack.
I wish the world were equal and no one was poor or rich we just all lived happily and same. ( ps no i am not a hippy) 
yeah i went t fiji recently wearing my nice branded clothes and i felt like a spoilt brat when i saw what some of the kids were wearing and what they lived in!!! i did wonder what they thought of us taking their photos!  they don't have as much as what we have, yet they are still content and extremely happy! yet we aren't content and are mieserable?! how does that work!?
+Kathy Adams, I applaud your efforts and appreciate your criticisms, but you need to know that I am not your enemy. What you are doing is excellent. You are changing the lives of hundreds of people for the better. +Empowerment International Im sure is a great organization that will continue to influence others to do good works. 

My opinion, and keep in mind it is an opinion, is that if we want to solve a problem we need to address the route causes of that problem. As long as we are operating in a monetary system we will encounter corruption, greed, scarcity crime, and people like you who work their hardest to improve the lives of those being oppressed. 

Did you research +The Venus Project?

You and I share the same goals. The problem is that our language is open to interpretation and so you may not see that right away. But when engineers talk to each other it isn't subject to interpretation. If it was you couldn't build bridges and dams or hospitals. What we want to build is a better world now.

 +The Venus Project  is a scientific approach to end war, poverty and corrupt practices across the world. It is a tested and proven system designed to greatly increase the standard of living for all people around the world (including the rich) and foster uninhibited scientific, technological and medical advancements for the benefit of each one of the Earths people. The reason why I feel this is a better approach to take is that all it requires is telling people about it.

The more people know, the easier it will be to change and as simple as turning on a light bulb one day we can decide together that we are going to begin the first civilization on earth. 

We have the technology. We have the resources. We have the proven and tested scientific approach. All we need now is you.
i am surprised seeing at your photos.
i love this photo, he is a really good photographer
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