…which is not only the title of a song written and immortalized by the Beatles. It is also the conclusion reached by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a photographer and documentary filmmaker, in his latest project, the results of which can be seen at the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt am Main until September 21.
Arthus-Bertrand and his team visited 84 countries and interviewed 6000 people, posing the same 45 questions to each. Among them:
- What is your greatest joy?
- What is your greatest fear?
- What did you dream of as a child?
- Are you happy?
- What would you kill for?
- For what would you sacrifice your life?
After analysis of the replies, Arthus-Bertrand’s realization was simple and not a little naïve sounding: That love, and love alone, is the solution to every problem; that individuals across the globe are connected by their innate need of human relationships. Family and children were unanimously perceived as something greater than oneself, as the stuff that gives meaning to life.
Arthus-Bertrand was astounded by the variety of reactions he got from his questions. Many people confessed things they had never admitted to anyone before, things they could only admit to strangers. One old woman declared she wouldn’t change anything in her life. Except she would have married a different man. A crippled man in a wheel chair was happier since his paralysis than before. A black man said he had couldn’t remember a day without discrimination.
I suppose what amazes me about this project is that Arthus-Bertrand spent a lot of time and money to confirm what most of us knew even before John, Paul, George and Ringo made their pure and simple pronouncement:
All ya need is love, love is all ya need.
I would have told you that, too – for free!