Why I love the humanizing HONY

I know, I know. I write about love a lot. But as I have said before in an old Valentines post, I love love. I don't mean romantic love, that's an entirely different beast of its own. In this case, I mean the love of people; Of humanity. I love the diversity and difference that divides us and that brings us together and makes us this incredible, unique gorgeous melting pot of a place. I love that love is the only answer to hate, and to violence, and to healing. The world is icky and complicated. It's a hard place to be in because so much happens outside the bounds of love. So much is driven out of selfishness and personal pursuit. Or twisted ideologies. Or just mindsets of damaging inequality. Really, the list doesn't end. It can't. There is just too much bad. But as I know I have said before in so many posts, my answer to all of this, is to live our lives in love as much as we can. And we all fall short. We are all human. But the beauty of things like Humans of New York, for example, is that it humanizes the every day faces we pass by on the street. And it takes a face in a crowd of many, and brings us their humanity. In this way, we get to love more. We get to expand our view of people and their stories, and we get to look at someone entirely, sometimes drastically different than ourselves, and see their God given beauty. We can relate to their pain. We can relate to their struggle.

It's easy to look at someone different and think they are weird because of the differences we see. Things like HONY, helps us get passed this mindset and take a second look at the images of people he posts, and the people around us that we see every day. We can see beauty. And there is beauty in every person. Sometimes, it's just a matter of teaching ourselves to think differently. Using words to describe others like "slut", or "white trash" make me uncomfortable, because these sort of descriptions mask the humanity of these people we put in these categories. Describing people like this doesn't provide the opportunity to look into their hearts, because we've already defined them with a defamatory label. We don't see the hurt in their eyes, or the beauty of their skin, or how strong they have to be in a precarious situation. Slamming words like that around as descriptions of people, widens the divide between people and hearts.

This is yet another reason why I love my college best friends so much. Beauty. They see it. They see it in the begging old woman on the street corner with her five cats. They see it in the rambling homeless man at the bus stop who told stories of his life as a computer wizard. (Side note: This man lived outside our complex and I used to go sit and talk with him. I have no idea if what he said was true. I once baked him a cake, and he was terribly unimpressed. Haha, makes me laugh.) There are lots more examples. But the point is, they saw people in their humanity. Together, we saw this rich fabric of gorgeous continuity that connects humankind. And you know what? So does HONY. That's why I am such a fan of HONY. That's also why I was excited to get the creator of HONY, Brandon Stanton's, first book which depicts some of the every day humans he came across, and their hearts. I admire that and appreciate it so much. And it will be so fun showing this book to my three and a half year old boy, Caleb. It is my hope and desire that he grows to admire and appreciate the diversity in humankind as well, and that he sees the humanity in people.