I wonder how many pictures have been taken of the Gateway Arch. I know I personally have shot hundreds of them as a visitor and as a St. Louis resident, and judging by the amount of photography that was occurring while I was there in July, I am not the only one who attempts to capture its grandeur in an image (although I failed).

As I was reviewing my pictures, I noticed all the people who were in the background. I wonder how many pictures I am in – taken by strangers, who do not even notice that I am even in the frame. Yet, our paths obviously crossed, even though I have been relegated to being invisible in their photos.

I think of other “people in the background” of our lives who go unrecognized but whose work intersects with our experiences. The baggage handler who loads our suitcase on the plane or the controller in the tower who guides the pilot to the correct runway. The stocker who ensures that our groceries are on the shelf or the truck driver who delivers the goods. The maintenance person who keeps our office or school tidy or the engineer who oversees the electrical grid. We may not notice that they are there, but we would be impacted if they were not.

Retrain your eye to increase your consciousness of the whole picture. Don’t just focus on the Arch and ignore the people around it. Your life is more interconnected than you notice.

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