I recently came across an article that photographed children all around the world with their most prized possessions. Photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s thought-provoking 18-month project captured the basic nature of all children to simply want to play. But it’s eye-opening to see the different definitions of what playtime meant in children of richer countries vs. poorer ones. Children in the richer countries were found to be more possessive with their toys and it would take some time before they would let the photographer play with their treasured possessions (AKA set up for the photo shoot). Whereas children in the poorer countries quickly found the crew to be their new playmates and not only interacted easily with the crew but also found no problem in sharing their one or two favorite toys.
Gabriele’s project really makes you reexamine what we define as our bare necessities. Gym memberships, organic produce boxes, even our daily coffees somehow make it onto our list of what we declare as “needs.” These needs often make us picky, selfish, inconsiderate, and judgmental. I mean how many of us only go to certain coffee shops (I’m so guilty! Cough, Starbucks) or look down at others for going to that gym or that bar. So even though the dissection of basic human nature and our innate tendencies falls around pictures of children with their inanimate objects, we adults can relate and hopefully, one day, learn to play nicely with others. After all, isn’t there a saying that adults are still children – just with better toys?