Humans Of New York: Explosion Of Compassion

In a startling initiative taken by the United Nations, Humans of New York’s Brandon Stanton, began a 50 day world tour spanning over 10 countries (beginning in Erbil and moving on to a refugee camp in Jordan, to the Democratic Republic of Congo to Ukraine, South Sudan, Haiti and others) on August 7, 2014 in an attempt to sensitise the world with stories from across the globe. Raising awareness, sharing stories and making voices heard, is the motivation behind this journey.

In addition to gathering portraits and stories, the purpose of the tour is to raise awareness towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight Millennium Development Goals range from cutting down extreme poverty and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS to providing universal primary education, all by the target year of 2015. These MDGs form a blueprint agreed upon by all the world’s countries supported by the leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

Humans of New York (HONY) is a bestselling photo blog and book that outlines a moment in the lives of random people from New York. Started by Brandon Stanton in the summer of 2010, it has steadfastly become a strand of connectivity and emotion. The narrations have swept the entire world by its humanising portraits. From adorable pictures of kids to heart-wrenching stories, HONY provides a daily dose of the human touch, right in front of your home screen. With over nine million followers, HONY now gives the global audience a chance to glimpse into the thriving pulse of New York City.

Stanton’s global endeavours have also featured recently in the New York Times highlighting his brilliant contribution to the society.

Silent smiles often hide untold stories in their eyes; HONY provides them with a platform to express their agony, their joy, their life in the purest form, without any manipulation by the mainstream media.

We take you on a little virtual journey underlining some inspiring stories that touched our hearts.

Harsh Realities
Often we do not realise how privileged we are. When little dreams cost more than the life itself, harsh realities come to the surface. Every day there are people out there who measures the worth of things we take for granted. They struggle, they pine, and they strive to survive.

If it were a choice between food on the table and education for your child, what would you pick?


In a world filled with broken dreams, a little faith becomes a beacon of hope in life. Keep your strength up, your head held high, and always believe that life will get better.

For a refugee who left everything he had ever known, in a nation that is no longer his, the future seems bleak.  Stanton brings to us unadulterated pain, in its most raw form.

When the scales are tipped against you, sacrifices need to be made; this man sets an example for us. He has sacrificed with a smile on his face.

Truly the star of the series, his philosophy of life is an inspiration for all of us. You don’t have to move mountains to be a leader; the right attitude is all it takes. Be compassionate, be wise.
It is the little things in life that bring the greatest of joys. He holds on to the memories from the past, as he creates some new ones.
At times, steps taken only make life horrific. With bated breath, they prayed every day, for God to spare them one day at a time.

She sells peanuts on the roadside, but has she lost her jovial nature? No. In a magnificent display of wit and humour, this lady teaches us all how to deal with life and make people smile, at the same time.


No matter what comes your way, scale the mountains and chase your goals. Once you’re done, look back and thank those who became the rungs of your ladder to success.

Always hope for a better world. Keep moving forward and some day, the clouds will move away, and the sun will shine. Till then, always remember that every cloud has a silver lining. As long as you don’t let the darkness envelope you, you’ll emerge victorious.
Several such attempts to inculcate a similar culture have been made by various cities including Delhi, Mumbai etc. However, the explosion that has erupted by the work of HONY remains unmatched.

Stanton makes us laugh, he makes us cry; he makes us see the world in a different light.

We salute you, sir.

Find Humans of New York on Facebook here.

Arushi Walecha

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