Sunday, 6 December 2015

Humans of New York Stories

I spent the better part of yesterday poring through the Humans of New YorkStories book. To say that it was an emotional rollercoaster is an understatement. I spent hours smiling, laughing, sniffing away tears, and then giggling again. 
This book was about the stories of humans of one beautiful, dynamic, breathing city. Some stories lifted my spirit while others broke my heart, and yet others gave me hope in humanity.
So many times, as I cruised through the book, I wanted to reach into the pages and hug the person and tell them again and again- 'you matter' ' You. Matter'. So many broken men and women who are waiting for an escape. But also so many children who are still oblivious in their innocence, who see goodness in everything. I wanted to shield them and give them a world that didn't crush their dreams and hopes. Other times I smiled and shook my head at those in love, because I know now how heady, how exhilarating it is to fall and rise in love. I also identified with the frustration and helplessness of those grappling about in the dark, seeking a purpose they aren't even sure exists. 
I was surprised by my reaction to this book. But I know why it made me feel such a range of emotions. The world is in, for lack of a better term, deep shit right now. And we have a lot of people running around making an already difficult life miserable for others in this tiny planet of ours. We have nature turning against us because of the short-sightedness and greed of some of us. We have men and women in positions of power milking disasters for their personal benefit. We have entire communities living in fear and humiliation for the acts of a few. And now we have groups of politicians deciding the bloody fate of a far away country that has already taken more than its fair share of blows. 
Like I said, things are really shitty at the moment. And you can't be blamed for thinking that there is no hope, no redemption, nothing to look forward to. But this book made me realise that the world hasn't gone fully dark yet, that there are still some very bright lights for the rest of us. The stories were of New Yorkers, but it very well could have been the stories of humans of another part of the globe. Because love, heartbreak, sorrow, depression, grief, happiness, confusion, hope, joy speak the same language all over the world. 
Because a person in love in New York is the same as a person in love in New Delhi. Because the death of one's soulmate hurts and haunts as much in Beirut as in Barcelona. Because parents still love their children more than themselves. Because teenagers still think the world revolves around them. Because men and women still dream when all odds are against them. Because depression does not discriminate. Because heartbreak still hurts as much each time. Because humans everywhere are capable of feeling anything, everything, and/or nothing at all. 
So in times like these, when it is so easy to put up fences around us and look at everyone else with suspicion, we need this book to remind us that not everything that is beautiful is dead. That the human spirit still thrives, that it pushes against despair, against fear, against doubt, to shoot up and reach for the farthest star in the sky. That we are still capable of loving and caring and nurturing. That it's okay to dream of a better life, a brighter future, a safer world. That it's time to remove our blinders and embrace the wonderful shades us humans come in. That no matter how many labels we slap on each other, at the end of the day all we want to do is love and be loved. And all we want to know is that we matter to someone, somewhere. Let me start by telling you, 
"You matter".

No comments:

Post a Comment