To Be Free Is To Have No Fear

By Robert Catto

I'm as bad as anyone else, really.

I spend too much of my time trying to improve things, to make something better, or to upgrade - whatever the 'thing' is, there's a new one, and it looks better than whatever I've got. And this time of year just amplifies that feeling, many times over. Every second email shouts 'New! Shiny! Buy!'

But when you look around - really look - it's hard to miss the fact that actually, there are much bigger problems to solve in the world than the tiny incremental improvements I could make to my own life.

It's a privilege to do what we do; we are fortunate to have what we have, to be who we are, to live where and how we do. Even just being online, having a blog, participating in discussions like this - having a door to close on a cold day, or turning on a fan on a hot one - these are things I'm lucky to be able to do.

Sometimes, I just need to walk around downtown to be reminded of how these extremes are visible on our doorstep - how a single intersection can have both ultra-high-end shops full of people, and also, homelessness.

Earlier this week - right after taking the photos for this essay - I volunteered at a fundraiser for the Wayside Chapel in Potts Point, who provide showers, low-cost meals and clothing for the most disadvantaged members of the community, as well as help with short and long-term crisis accommodation and housing.

It's not enough - it's never enough - but it's a small start.

To Be Free Is To Have No Fear, by Nadia Hernandez

Robert Catto

PO Box 806, Darlinghurst, NSW 1300, Australia

I'm a Canadian photographer now living in Sydney Australia, specialising in performing arts, live events, editorial and corporate / commercial work.