In Kahil Gibran’s piece, “On Joy and Sorrow,” he says, Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter arises was oftentimes filled with your tears. How else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.


I’d read that passage for the first time on the top bunk of a sweltering house in Haiti, a few short months after the earthquake. Those words devastated me as much as what I’d seen outside those walls. I have hundreds of pictures from that trip, almost all of them are children’s faces. The faces of trauma, of sorrow and of fantastic beauty and worthiness.


With an age-progression app in my brain, I see these faces 8 years later. You were loved then, you are loved now, children of Haiti. With Gibran’s upside of sorrow, I hope that well carved into you has somehow been filled to overflowing with joy and laughter.


Don’t ever believe you’re less than.


I won’t forget your faces.