When we first discovered Humans Of New York, we couldn’t help but feel something powerful take over. This was one extraordinary and simple tale proving to have a BIG impact on the world. Brandon Stanton, the founder of Humans of New York began this project during the summer of 2010 with intentions to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map.
Now he’s a 31-year old New Yorker with over 8 million followers on social media alone, providing a worldwide audience with a daily glimpse into the lives of strangers in New York City.
The stories from Humans of New York have proven just how inspiring and thought-provoking society could be. So we decided, what better way to showcase some of the best HONY stories, than by reflecting on what essential life lessons they’ve taught us…
WE ALL START OUT AS STRANGERS, BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER.
There are incredible people out there willing to make a difference in this world of ours. We see it every day; strangers turned into friends, strangers into lovers and the best of all – a stranger’s act of kindness for the greater good of humanity.
EQUALITY FOR ALL REGARDLESS OF SEX, AGE, RELIGION AND RACE.
Come on 2016 – we’re pleading equality for all. Same-sex marriage should be legalised throughout the world. Less hate, more love, please. Love is love and we’ve got our fingers crossed for more countries to legalise same-sex marriage in the coming years.
DO NOT TAKE YOUR HEALTH FOR GRANTED.
Looking after your body, mind and soul may prove to be one of the most important relationships you’ll ever have. Your mental health is important. It’s okay to seek help and sometimes life knocks you down, but it’s a beautiful journey and the human kind is one of the most resilient forces on earth. Support one another, you never know how hard of a battle someone is fighting out there.
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IN THE 21st CENTURY.
We are brought into this planet as children, with sheer simplicity and vulnerability. Brendan himself, the founder of HONY built his empire by following his passions – photography, people and New York. Despite the tragedy that continues to unfold, there has been no better time to be alive than now. Anything is possible. The world is in its golden age, take what you want from it.
EDUCATION IS THE GATEWAY TO ENDLESS OPPORTUNITIES
Education, just like travelling, is one of life’s greatest privileges. If you’re lucky enough to do either, take it with a grain of salt and seek every opportunity that comes your way. Education, after all, is the only way we can reduce poverty and inequality in this world.
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. AND FATE IS A POWERFUL THING.
Is all fair in love and war? Do you believe in fate? Are we destined to love the people we love? Or is it purely coincidental? However you interpret ‘love’, Humans Of New York gives us an extraordinarily simple and heartfelt glimpse into what it means to love and find love.
“SOME PEOPLE ARE OLD AT 18 AND SOME ARE YOUNG AT 19. TIME IS A CONCEPT THAT HUMANS CREATED.”
Thanks to Yoko Ono’s words of wisdom, this quote couldn’t ring more truth. Time is of the essence. You are only as old and young as you feel. Choose to be happy and learn a new skill; one that keeps you fit, one that makes you money and one that keeps you creative. Whatever it is, find it and let it ignite your spirit.
EMBRACE WHO YOU ARE.
Do you ever look around and notice just how different we all really are? It’s not a one-size fits all. Collectively we’re all colourful creatures like pieces of a puzzle. No-one in this world is a replica of you. Call it what you want and as cliche as it may sound – but this is your world, don’t let someone dictate who you should be.
Whatever you do, whoever you are, embrace it.
TRAVELLING OPENS UP OUR EYES TO NEW CULTURES, EXPERIENCES AND A DIFFERENT WAY OF LIFE.
It’s one of the greatest gifts and lessons in the world. Open up your mind to new ideas, cultures and people. It’s one of the most rewarding feelings in the world – to be immersed in something that isn’t your own.