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    • All of us live inside our particular bubbles of society and without actively seeking out the wider picture, we never actually get to know the lived experience of real people outside of our bubble. Which is why I believe that the best you can do for your mental balance and understanding of your fellow human beings, today, is: follow Humans Of New York.

      Every day or so, author publishes a short story told by a particular random person author met on the streets of New York (or around the world, when he goes somewhere else). Their fears, their hopes, their experiences, in their own words. Sounds trivial, but it's incredibly powerful stuff. Kids, elderly, teenagers, powerful people, people on the margins of society... Everyone, sharing their stories.

      There are series from particular countries, series of stories from particular groups of people (war veterans, cancer patients, inmates,...).

      I make it a habit of dropping by every now and then and catching up. More than once I found myself ashamed of my (or what I perceived to be) problems when seeing what goes on in other people's lives. More than once I found myself with tears in my eyes. And always, always, I left with greater understanding and compassion for the world as a whole.

      Go visit, now. It will make you a better person. We do need more of those.

    • Thank you for sharing these heartwarming thoughts.

      The Humans of New York is so positive, it's inspired other projects that help make a difference:

      Inspired by the work of photographer and humanitarian Brandon Stanton — the man behind photo blog Humans of New York — artist Mikaël Theimer began his own series documenting people in Montreal. The project, coined Humans of the Street,
      is similar in style to Stanton’s, as it captures the faces of Theimer’s
      subjects and notes thoughtful quotations they had to share.

    • Brandon is phenomenal and the story of how he got into this is too amazing to be fiction. A bond trader in Chicago who got fired. He started taking pictures as a hobby. Then he started asking people on the streets if he could take their pictures. He started interviewing them about their lives and writing something to go with the picture.

      I think his magic formula is best captured by this short interview clip. This bit of magic would make us all better.

    • I see your phenomenal video clip and I raise you this one, if you have time for a deeper dive:

      I'm ashamed to say with my long-time love of photography and ownership of SmugMug & Flickr, I didn't know much about Brandon other than he had a couple of #1 New York Times bestselling books. That should have told me something.

      Thank you jpop for enlightening me.