Humans of New York

By Brandon Stanton

“I’ve got a whole stack of books in my cart. Most of them are advance copies. I know a place where they get thrown out.” “How many books have you read?” “Thousands.” “So why are you homeless?” “I’ve tried to work a job a bunch of times. But then I get sad, and then I get high, and things fall apart.”

Homeless in NYC

Homeless in NYC

“If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?” “Try your best to deal with life without medicating yourself.” “You mean drugs?” “I mean drugs, food, shopping, money, whatever. I ain’t judging anybody, either. I was hooked on heroin for years. But now I’ve learned that every feeling will pass if you give it time. And if you learn to deal with your feelings, they’ll pass by faster each time. So don’t rush to cover them up, or you’re never gonna learn.”

Addiction

Addiction

“It is important to maintain your equanimity. You cannot let yourself get too ‘up’ or too ‘down’ based on your circumstances.” “Too ‘down’ I understand. But why not too ‘up?'” “Because the higher your mountains are, the deeper your valleys will seem. You should not react to the world. You should respond, but not react. A response is an action based on logic. A reaction is an emotional state. Your reaction will not change the world. Your reaction only changes you. Your response will change the world.”

—-

“I work so many hours at the factory. I need to find a way for my daughter to live a better life than me.” “How do you do that?” “I’m not sure. No time to think about that.”

Working for a better life

Working for a better life for her daughter

“She won’t talk to me until I get my shit together.” “Who’s she?” “Every man has a She.”

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