I’ve been thinking about what it means to win #thebirthlottery and, after a considerable amount of mental back and forth, I think it comes down to simply having less stacked against you. Of course what “stacked against you” means is up for interpretation. Being born into abject poverty in India to a young woman who was trafficked, prostituted and raped is certainly going to be much more difficult than the experience of a child of a middle class professional couple living in Park Slope, Brooklyn. That is not to say a the child in Brooklyn won’t face challenges, just that, right out of the gate, the child of the trafficked girl is going to have a tougher go. Immense wealth and power can also have a profound effect but for now I will be more focused on poverty.
There is no question that I won #thebirthlottery. I am the son of middle class parents born in Toronto, Canada. I didn’t get everything I wanted but I was never in need of anything. As a student, I was not the best, but when I found photography, I worked hard to “make it.” I still work hard. In my travels for work, I’ve met people that have worked way harder than I have yet they seem destined to struggle with barriers beyond my comprehension. I have also met those who have not really had to work too hard for anything and seem destined to succeed in spite of themselves.
This is an ongoing project that will focus on the very crossroads of those who are working toward changing the results of their birth lottery.