If you haven’t heard of the Humans of New York project, please do yourself a favor and check out the website. If you’re on Facebook, follow HONY. You won’t regret it. The photographer, Brandon Stanton, started out photographing random people on the streets of New York asking them questions like, “What was your happiest moment?” etc. It’s amazing how such a simple idea could have such a powerful impact. I could try to describe it, but you really need to experience it for yourself.
For the last several months, Brandon has been traveling beyond New York (to India,Vietnam, Ukraine, Africa, Israel, and more), and the words of a 97-year-old woman in Jerusalem that he photographed really struck me and have stayed with me. HONY’s website would only allow me to re-blog on tumblr, so I’ve done a cut and paste. Here it is (italics are mine):
“There have been very good parts and very bad parts, but in the end, I love life. Every night before I sleep, I ask God for three more years, so that I can make it an even one hundred. Then I recite a blessing that my mother gave me when I left her in Poland. It was the last time I saw her. The blessing is much more powerful in Hebrew, but it says: ‘Wherever you go, may people always recognize that you have a beautiful heart.’”