It’s a question children are asked from the moment they learn to dream – what do you want to be? Who will you become?
For author Sallyann Della Casa, the answer lay somewhere between the present, and 2010 — the point in her life where her heart was in turmoil – her father had passed away, she had left her job and was transitioning to an unknown country.
Now, the Dubai-based Canadian Trinbagonian is the founder of the Growing Leaders Foundation, and together with Australian travel photographer David Lazar, has launched the first book in a series of seven, documenting what she calls ‘the journey of becoming’ in different regions of the world.
She uses the pages of her book to guide readers through their own personal journeys. Every other page holds a motivational thought, like a personalised cheer for the person you are becoming.
“You carry within you an inner compass that will never lead you astray,” she writes. “You will keep the company of lions, be jealous of your space…”
But what could easily sound like trite platitudes, turn into meaningful advice when juxtaposed with stunning photographs of children in the Caribbean.
Lazar’s images include portraits of bright-eyed, serious young people, but also capture them in the overwhelming exuberance of childhood – while they dance the limbo, play cricket or spin tops.
Who will he become? is a question that crossed my mind – quite naturally – as I peered at the image of a boy with startling green eyes. Who will I become? It’s a question that keeps coming back to you, as you turn the pages, comfortingly reassuring in the notion that you are always evolving, no matter your age or how much darkness you have had to face in your journey.
The book is a wonderful amalgam of picture and text, capturing the transient joy of youth, while hoping for a future of strong, independent, compassionate leaders.
Della Casa’s next book in the series will showcase the youth of the Middle East.