19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
A Shepherd's Chore

It was scorching hot in the highlands of central Lesotho when I encountered this young shepherd. As I drove past him, he mimed a drinking action. I pulled over, wound down my window, greeted him, and passed him a bottle of water. He had a very calm presence, especially for someone around the age of 12. He accepted the bottle, took a tiny sip, and promptly handed it back. The kindness in that simple action brought my world to a halt. If I had been that thirsty, on that sandy road, in that baking heat, I would surely drink as much as I could. This encounter made me ask myself many difficult questions. Who am I to pity anyone? Who am I to judge someone else’s life through my lens? Who am I to be surprised by the kindness that exists within another?

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 01.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Lesotho
Camera: ILCE-7SM2
Copyright: © Rudi Gremels