Hope. Love. and the Humans of New York model of happiness.

Let me tell you about three things / people today.

I have previously written about this nice pub close to my house – The Daily. While the food is quite delicious and the drinks, unimaginative; what stands out is their décor. The theme for this watering hole is positive news coverage. The ceiling is full of snippets from local, national and international newspapers all showing something good about the world. A physically challenged man winning a race, a dog saving a man’s life, a boy wonder, a cure for a dreaded disease and more.

The second is a blog by Tithiya Sharma who quit her job to travel the world (ah yes, the perennial dream). Sharma toured parts of Asia and met local heroes and blogged about them. The local heroes varied from sex workers who have done something for the family to school teachers going the extra mile for the students.

The third is about a personal favourite – Humans of New York or HONY. This man has set the world on fire with his simple, beautiful photographs and insight into people’s lives. Our neighbours, our friends, the shopkeeper down the street, the homeless of the city never looked as interesting before. HONY has been imitated by national and international such pages – Humans of Bombay, Humans of New Delhi, Humans of Brazil, Humans of …(insert name of any country and chances are you will find it).

I love each of the three described above. And yet I have a bone to pick. With myself and with a lot of my friends. Why did we never realize the world was so wonderful before someone decided to show it to us. Had we forgotten the word hope, happiness, belief, faith or even love?

Every other day I meet someone who I enjoy speaking to. And that is saying something because I generally like being extremely quiet. I have met cab drivers who have told me about how they are working extra shifts to fund their kid’s higher education and how the daughters are doing so extremely well in school. I have met coconut sellers with whom I have discussed Communism. I have had random chats with people in buses and trains, and each of them have been memorable. I have heard good stories and bad, but I chose to remember the best ones.

We must listen to people around us. We must look at the world as it is, and not as the world we wish we were in. Wait, it will surprise you with its beauty.

All photos are from Humans of New York, during his travels for United Nations



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