Speak Up

In my third year of high school, I was lucky enough to visit London as part of a class trip.

This was long before the advent of helicopter parenting and wall to wall scheduling of youth activity. We were a group of 20 kids with an elderly chaperone who knew that we’d learn more on our own than on the leash.

For the better part of six days, we free-ranged in the most compelling city in the world.

Seeing punks up close on the King’s Road in Soho, riding the tube to nowhere and everywhere and just taking in the city as we found it. It was an adventure of a lifetime.

One of my favorite places was Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park. I’d never seen the fearlessness of that kind of public interaction up close.

People who think they’re being brave or daring by sharing their opinion on a social channel or with a bumper sticker aren’t playing for keeps.

Fearlessness and authenticity happen in person when the stakes are real.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.