It is a blesing to be able to give.

Always a curious boy, I grew up in a traditional Chinese family. I’ve always gotten things my way. Always rebellious, always defiant, always a selfish trouble-maker.

I have been fortunate enough to escape death a few times in my life now. One of those was a car accident where I was flunked off Sheares’ bridge. People often say that near-death experiences transform lives, I am glad it did to mine, and for the better. In those moments, I saw my life flashed before me like a movie cliché and I survived afterwards with a strong desire to live my life differently.

Before that, I didn’t understand any of my family’s love for me, and have never cared about how they feel each time I disappoint them. My awakening has made me appreciate my loved ones, just by them nobly being there, quietly supporting and accepting me. My gratitude towards their love makes me want to go forth and help others whenever I can. I live by the saying, ‘the more you give, the more you can give”. It is a blessing to be able to give.

My profession as a photographer allows me to communicate and inspire more people about life’s bigger issues such as social injustice through photography as a medium. By creating awareness, I know I can help improve the lives of many victims. My family’s love has made my awakening possible and because of them, I want to give back in a big sense. They made me the best of me.
Jay Yao