Most Viral Humans of New York Stories

It’s not every day that you can get a glimpse into the daily lives of strangers, but Humans of New York (HONY) changes that and evolves it into something much bigger for us to grasp. HONY challenges us to understand others through a caption and a photo, and in less than five minutes, we succumb to either laughter, tears or simple appreciation for a moment of walking through someone else’s experiences.

Here are the top hits of the most popular, slightly hilarious, possibly heartwarming, maybe depressing and definitely insightful stories from HONY.

8. Just look at the dog

His name is Engelbert, the dog that is. His back legs don’t work, and his old owners kept him outside, so his ears are frostbitten. Also, he only has three teeth, – but that didn’t stop this guy from adopting him (HONY).

7. When a wave comes, go deep

Advice from a stronger person can sometimes be the best you’ll ever receive (HONY):

"There's three things you can do when life sends a wave at you. You can run from it, but then it's going to catch up and knock you down. You can also fall back on your ego and try to stand your ground, but then it's still going to clobber you. Or you can use it as an opportunity to go deep, and transform yourself to match the circumstances. And that's how you get through the wave."

6. You’re never too old to be sassy

Although not everyone admits this, it’s my personal philosophy that everyone’s favorite pastime is to be petty (HONY).

“We don’t have any hobbies. But we do try to get together a few times a month to judge people and complain about things.”

5. I want to be a big boss

A lesson on perseverance and hard work is often needed. We take our financial comforts for granted, yet this woman teaches us to overcome the bitterness of the low income experience. Moreover, she sets an example for us to follow on the strength it takes to achieve the American dream, especially if it isn’t just for herself.

"I work 95 hours per week at three different jobs. One of my sons graduated from Yale, and I have two more children in college. And when they finish, I want to go to college too. I want to be a Big Boss. I'm a boss at the bakery right now, but just a little boss. I want to be a Big Boss."

4. President Obama welcoming a Syrian Refugee

In a series HONY did covering Syrian Americans, one man was welcomed by the most powerful one in the United States, President Barack Obama (HONY).

“I don’t want the world to think I’m over. I’m still here.”

This man is a scientist from Syria who lost his wife and daughter during an airstrike. He now lives in the states, but did not have a work permit and now has cancer. A university that teaches with his book can’t even give him a job. However, things seem to be looking up for him as President Obama has formally welcomed him, stating that he is what “makes America great.”

3. A lesson about consent (TW: sexual assault)

“’No more maybe’s, let’s flip a coin.’”

We need to be teaching the younger generation about the true meanings of consent and the costs of sexual assault because as you can already probably tell this young girl just lost her virginity to a coin toss (HONY).

“For the longest time I felt like it was my fault for feeling hurt. Like I was being overly sensitive. It took five years for me to realize that consent is not a coin flip.”

2. Being afraid to come out

"I'm homosexual, and I'm afraid about what my future will be and that people won't like me."

This preteen shows the raw emotions and realities of being young and wanting to be free, but instead he feels restrained to the condemnation of society, and unfortunately fears for himself.

Ellen DeGeneres and Hillary Clinton both commented on the post with full support (HONY).

DeGeneres: “Not only will people like you, they'll love you. I just heard of you, and I love you already.”

Clinton: “Prediction from a grown-up: Your future is going to be amazing. You will surprise yourself with what you're capable of and the incredible things you go on to do. Find the people who love and believe in you - there will be lots of them. –H”

1. Wherever you go, I will find you

In a disheartening, almost too real look into the lives of parents and children who have cancer, HONY takes on its recent series filled with hopeful thoughts and on-looking goodbyes (HONY).

“We got the MRI early the next morning, and I went to work. The results came in a few hours later. They called me while I was walking down the street. I just collapsed on the sidewalk,” said Max’s mother.

Max’s mother was told he would only have a year to live, and all I can wonder is how you can look a mother in the eye and tell her that her child’s time is up.

“Our life had been beautiful, and now everything sucked. I didn’t know what to do. So we went to the Lego store. He was obsessed with Legos. That night he got so many Legos.”

“I think I have post-traumatic stress. I have so many horrible flashbacks. Two weeks after Max was diagnosed, he asked me if I’d be his Mommy forever. I said, ‘Of course I will.’ And he asked: ‘Even when I’m ninety?’ And I told him ‘yes.’ What was I supposed to say?”

Follow Humans of New York on Facebook and Twitter for more stories.

Take the time to reflect, millennials.


Photo credits: