10/10/2014 11:08 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mabou: September, 2014, New York City


During my career as a "Hollywood photographer" I have been blessed to meet many amazing people of great accomplishment, who have achieved fame through talent, dedication and spirit. But for me, by far and hands down the one who has given and gives me the greatest hope for the present and future of our world, who exemplifies and embodies the very best of humanity, is young Mabou Loiseau. Mabou, age 8, fluently speaks eight languages (with more in the works) and plays eight musical instruments. When I saw and heard her on Katie Couric, my heart soared, for I have long held the deep belief that knowing multiple languages fosters understanding, tolerance and inclusion in our world and that our educational system should teach at least five languages from the very beginning of schooling. In this regard, Mabou's parents, who recognized Mabou's penchant for language during her infancy, are great visionaries for fostering and nurturing Mabou's language and expression abilities. I myself, in my advancing age, have learned how to say "thank you" in many languages and I have found that even this one word said in one's language opens connection with others all over. I connect with Mabou's mother, Esther, and a meeting is arranged. They arrive together at the 92nd Street Y and we go into the art gallery there where my KINDSIGHT'" exhibit is currently on view. My hope is that their seeing this work's celebration of human spirit will clarify my joy in meeting them. I speak limited phrases I know in other languages and in each case, Mabou replies in that language with her angelic voice and smile. We then go out into the nearby streets and make some photos. We continue our wonderful conversation, Mabou, mom Esther and myself, and I reiterate my gratitude and belief that Mabou will surely help bring people together and make the world better. With smiles we bid farewell and vow to keep in touch and to continue what was started on this beautiful day.