Dhaka Drawings: Portraits of a woman

I woke up this morning realising I had not posted these drawings last night, nor written the thought that I had whilst reflecting on them.

A friend and I talked about thresholds of tolerance. I think about something rather strange – the idea of the “Messiah complex’, that desire or need for reverence is something that I feel we need to keep in check, along with our ego.  I don’t deny that one needs to feel good about the little achievements or improvements that are made. I am more concerned when we take it upon ourselves to be responsible for the life of another person, when systems could be put in place so that this responsibility is shared. I am unsure, though what the alternative can really be, without heavily relying on governments or institutions that can assist in ways that don’t create dependency.  At the extreme levels, where society and government has failed, is there a problem of the ‘Messiah’ coming in to help? perhaps, it is one of the last solutions.

Most of the time, I know I can do very little to improve the lives of so many people at the extreme levels of poverty that we come across. Yet, at times, this frustration bubbles into something else and forces me to try. Usually, it ends in failure. There really is no magic pill.

I wonder how long this lady has lived on the streets of Dhaka or if she has a family, if she has experienced love or friendship? I dared not ask her questions whilst drawing her. Yet, as she sat, I reflected on what I currently feel is important in life – truth, justice, love, and whether they all really reflect and embody a set of values that allows one to be as ‘good’ a person is possible. And it starts another chain of thoughts, what is a good person?
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