Humans of New York

Have you heard about Humans of New York? It’s been around nearly four years now, but it’s new to me, and it was just last month that I joined five million other Facebook users who “like” the site. But I more than like it. I LOVE it, and literally overnight, I became a regular visitor. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do. Aside from being wildly entertaining, it’s insightful, penetrating, educational, and, at times, breathtaking.

And, like many exceptional things, it’s simple. Very, very simple.

The site includes photographs of everyday people and along with each photograph, a quotation. That’s it.

Each day, Brandon Stanton stops a handful of “humans of New York” as they roam the streets of the city. With charm and grace, the 29-year-old asks if he can take their photograph and speak to them for a few moments. Here’s a sampling of what he’s heard:

·         “I was a real asshole,” says one man, holding a bouquet of flowers.

·         “I never found my passion,” says an older woman.

·         “It’s tough being someone who cares about a drunk,” muses a lonely 20-something.

When you combine these moments of truth – shared with a stranger – with the portraits that Stanton creates, the results are riveting.

And why is this?

Because we’re all curious about each other’s lives, their thoughts, their experiences. Everyone, the site clearly shows, has something fascinating to share, an exceptional insight, a unique history.

Now, take it a step further. If this is how much we care about strangers, can you imagine our intrigue if we knew the person personally? If it were our mother or father? Our grandparent or friend?

We’d clamor for their words, we’d hit refresh to find more pictures.

We’d want a book.

Are you ready to share your story? You may not get five million followers, but trust me, your family will thank you.