One evening when I was attending college in the mid-west I was out photographing distant barns, silos, trees, gently waving rows of corn stalks, etc. on the skyline silhouetted by the great red orb of the sun slowly dropping below the horizon.

It was a glorious sight, and I think I got some nice shots.  To this day I love watching sunsets.

While this was happening some friends came out of their apartment and were urgently calling me.  I turned around and they were looking my way, but had their eyes covered by their hands. They told me don’t look at the sun!  You’ll hurt your eyes!  Look away! Look away!  Now, even at that time of my life I had watched hundreds, if not thousands, of sunsets.

It turns out these friends had been born and raised in Chicago. They had lived their entire lives, to that point, within a world bounded by multiple stories of brick and concrete. For these folks the sun set at 2:30pm behind the apartment building on the next block, so of course, you could hurt your eyes if you looked at the mid-day sun. These folks had never seen the sun set on the horizon. How very sad I thought.

Today I am again thinking how sad it is that so many people never see the sunset on the horizon. They never see the panoply of colors in the sky, nor the great globe of the sun settling majestically, nor do they wait expectantly for the green flash as the last nail paring-thin limb drops from sight.

No, they are busy, busy, busy, working 60-70+ hour weeks, month after month, isolated from the rest of their world, living to work, instead of working so that they might live and have a life. So, what about you? What is your choice?

–Steve Lange

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