When I first started this assignment, I was quite perplexed by the prospect of putting together a combophoto with no constraints put on the assignment. Naturally, I first went about trying to come up with some grand metaphorical meaning and really started to overanalyze the photos to see what was meaningful to me. When I realized that this would not work, because the question was just too open-ended, I made a key realization – I could put the photos together first, and come up with the meaning later. So, I changed my process a bit, and simply looked for two photos that had a similar color that could be seamed together well. Setting that as my parameter, I settled on the images of the hawk and the rabbit. Once I had my images, the only real challenge I faced was to correctly set the visual settings to make the images coalesce.
After my combophoto was finished, I then was tasked with coming up with a meaning for it. To me, this combophoto demonstrates the necessity of a flexibility of skillsets in life. In some situations, it is better to be nimble and agile like the rabbit so as to be able to escape difficult and threatening situations. However, in other cases, it is preferable to be keen and aggressive like the hawk; strategically plotting out tactics and flawlessly executing them to achieve a goal. To be successful in life, both of these skills are necessary, as is the discernment to know when it is appropriate to utilize each skillset.
The key lesson from this assignment was not the metaphorical applications of hawks and rabbits, however. Rather, it was the realization that I discussed earlier: it is easier to derive meaning from events and circumstances than it is to make events and circumstances conform to some prescribed meaning. Life does not arise from purpose. While we all have reasons for doing the things that we do, excruciatingly rare is the person who has defined an explicit purpose and strives to live up to that ideal. Rather, purpose arises from life. While people are known for what they do while they are alive, it is only after they are gone that their stories are looked at as a whole to figure out what they were living and fighting for. Our legacy is our purpose, and this is defined not by some arbitrary decision early in life, but by the events that make us who we are. What we do is not dictated by our purpose. We discover our purpose through what we do.
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