Like almost all of us, I grew up fearing sharks and hoping never to meet one. We still see it everywhere, the image of the blood-thirsty man eater, stalking us in the shadows. The reality couldn't be more different. While the media is fixated on sensationalizing the 7-10 fatal shark attacks globally per year, it has remained utterly silent about the fact that we are quietly and rapidly erasing sharks from our entire planet at a staggering rate of one hundred million per year in an unsustainable, and sometimes legal act of ignorance and greed. So why is this such a hopeful piece? Because it is proof that people can change. We can educate ourselves, we can embrace knowledge over cultural programming and overcome fear with love. This self portrait is my testimony to that basic human ability, and that is a cause for hope.