Since bursting into our newsfeeds a few years ago, Humans of New York has inspired people across the globe to photograph
the weirdest looking people on the street normal, everyday people in order to better understand the personal narratives that compose the complex human experience. The “Humans of…” movement has helped people appreciate diversity and the simple pleasures and concerns that unite humankind. We’ve even started our own spin-off here on the site, and now on our Facebook page. But the whole thing is pretty species-centric. What about the myriad nonhumans that we interact with each day? What might they have to say?
“Did you know that Gandhi let his wife die of pneumonia because he refused to allow her to take penicillin because it was a Western medicine, but when he got malaria allowed doctors to give him quinine? My friend just told me this and it basically destroyed all the assumptions I had about the world.”
“I’m a little worried about the college application process. My older brother just went through it two years ago, and I remember how time-consuming it was. My guidance counselor told me that admissions offices are all going to want the fourth-largest self-supported dome in the world on their campus, but I don’t know. There’s just so much pressure to know what you want in life!”
I tried to sit down, but they told me it was a chairs-only table.
Pepper: “We’re expecting.”
Me: “Which one of you is going to give birth, if I may ask?”
Salt: “We’re not quite sure.”
The whole gang having some fun in the sun!
Me: “What’s the most important lesson you’ve ever learned?”
Motor Scooter: “Sometimes you just need to give up. This might not be what you wanted to hear, but it’s something I’ve learned over and over during my life.”
Me: “Do you have an example?”
Motor Scooter: “My ex-husband. After years of trying to make things work between us, I realized that he was stuck in a very gendered mindset that would not allow me to be the kind of self-determined scooter I wanted to be. So I gave up on him. But in doing so, I reaffirmed my own self-confidence and determination. Life’s full of shit like that.”
Me: “Have you ever faced adversity?”
Firepit: “My family moved around a lot when I was young, which was difficult for me. Making friends is already hard when you’re an oversized outdoor gas firepit, and when you’re also ‘the new kid’ you can basically forget about finding anyone to sit with at lunch.”
Caution Sign: “I’ve been wrestling with concepts of morality for a while.”
Me: “Could you explain?”
Caution Sign: “For example, let’s say the floor is really wet, so I’m here telling people to be careful. Then my daughter (God forbid) hurts herself at school and I leave to take her to the doctor. In my mind that’s being a good parent. But say while I’m gone, someone falls on the wet floor and gets concussion because there’s no caution sign. So in taking care of my own daughter I’ve hurt someone else’s kid, right?”
Images via Ari Snider.