Erin Kim // erickimphotography.com

Hello Stranger

You don’t know my name

And I don’t know yours

But we don’t need to

Because this isn’t about just me, or just you

This is about something we all share

We are merely human

We are equally determined to come into this world and leave it by the same means

We are all humbled by the power time has and will always have over us

We are not invincible

And we are not perfect

Neither is life

And you are not the first person to feel like something is the end of the world

And wake up the next day to an earth still spinning

Sometimes, bad things happen

Emphasis on the sometimes 

Oh how lovely it would be 

If we could thank the bad

For making us see the good so much brighter 

But that’s easier said than done isn’t it.

Sometimes, there’s this feeling that resembles a grey veil between your eyes and the world

Making it harder to see the colors that life has to offer

Our taste buds seem to be losing their magic

And that tunnel seems to have no light at the end of it at all.

There’s this weight

Making your heart feel so heavy

That if you fell in the shallowest body of water

You would still sink

But the thing is

You may not have a say in what’s going to hurt you

But you can choose what to do with that pain

And a friendly reminder is that you’re not alone

You are not the first person to go through pain

And a promise is you will not be the last

But don’t let the pain make you fall 

And keep you down

It may always be there

But it doesn’t have to be the elephant in the room

Don’t let it be the biggest part of you

Don’t let it wrap itself around you and fool you into believing that it’s all you have,

that’s it’s all you’re worth

Because you are so much more than the tears you shed,

the words you yell that you don’t mean

and your heart that shatters.

Look around you

Your story doesn’t have to be over

I know people in refugee camps who tell their children it’s going to be okay,

who believe they will have a home again one day

I know people who have lost so much and are laughing again

I know hope that builds from the broken bricks of homes

I know trees that grow amidst the ashes of fires and bombs

I know artists who through untold stories and photographs revive cities that have succumbed to the horrors of battlefields 

I know children robbed of their childhood who get a second chance

I know people with broken bodies who rise higher than anyone

And I know writers who write the most beautiful of stories

Stories they thought would end pages and chapters ago

I know that where there is pain and loss, there is love and strength

And where there are remaining breaths to take, there is hope.

So when you think it’s the end,

Think again

Remember those who haven’t given up just yet

You just might notice the hand reaching out to you

And feel the warmth of the candle

That wants to light your way

And take you through the darkness

Because you don’t ever have to go through it alone

And I promise

You’ll see those sparkles of light again

Those particles of color you thought were gone forever

and the seeds of hope,

that will forever grow

grow so everyone can see,

Like a big beautiful flowering tree.



As humans, we may have the ability to harm, to hate and to envy

But we also have the innate power to love and to care and to give

To give more than we have 

To care more than we are cared for

And to love regardless of being loved back

So let the love triumph

And the good thrive

Because they matter

And they touch people

And they change lives 

Making them, while they last, a little better

Making smiles, a little more frequent

And laughs, a little louder

And life, as short as it is, a little more meaningful.

So be kind

Not because you want to be remembered as kind

But because kindness transcends boundaries and differences 

It transcends race and religion

It transcends power and wealth 

It gets someone through the day

or through the year

It’s the easiest thing to do

You can be kind to someone

without even knowing their name.