Justin DeRosa



July 2016

Standing As One

Barnegat at Night

Yesterday, a Japanese photographer emailed me about my photography. I replied and they replied back with this

“Thank you for your reply.
I saw your great portfolio.
Please come to Japan someday!!

Yoshikazu K********”

This really touched me. It always does…but this time it made me feel different. Considering the state of the world lately, the fact that I can make even one person I have never met feel a little brighter about life because of my photography means the world to me. In all honestly it actually made me cry.

The world is a scary and tragic place these days. So many people are fighting because of our differences. We are taught at a young age to ignore our weaknesses and differences and only focus on our strengths and similarities, but that is wrong. Everyone has strengths AND weaknesses. You are more than just your successes, you are also who you are due to your failures and defeats. It is part of what makes you whole.

We need to acknowledge and accept that we are all different. Because we are…but that is OK. It is OK to be different.

It is OK that you may like something someone else doesn’t
It is OK to have your own opinions and beliefs
it is OK you and I may be a different color
it is OK to be proud of how you look and who you are
It is OK to be proud of your heritage, although you are not responsible for your ancestor’s mistakes
It is OK to to ask for help
It is OK to say no
It is OK to make mistakes
Most importantly, it is OK to be you

You should not have to apologize or be shamed for being you. Be you. Be happy. Make yourself happy, make others around you happy. Love and be loved. Don’t be afraid to ask for help concerning your weaknesses and especially don’t be afraid to help someone else with your strengths. Instead of being on one side or the other side be on the same side. Recognize and embrace your differences with others and use your combined unique traits and skills to reach new heights together.

Consider the purpose of a lighthouse. Many parallels can be drawn to humanity. A lighthouse serves to guide our boats to bridge the gaps from one land (whether near or far) to another. It stands on the edge of the sea representing the balance between familiarity and the unknown, illuminating the darkness to protect our journey. A lighthouse does not discriminate against a small boat, a big boat, a colored boat, or a sailboat. This particular lighthouse (Barnegat) is two toned, composed of many different materials – yet it still stands strong as one complete structure. It stands strong to keep us safe, to keep us going.

Be like a lighthouse. Stand strong together in the darkness to guide one another to shore.


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