(Disclaimer: Obviously, I copied the following story and image from HONY's page. I don't own any of it).
"I've been examining my values lately, and determining whether or not I like the feelings that result from those values."
"What's an example of one of your values?"
"I'm very competitive."
"And what's a feeling that results from being competitive?"
"How does competitiveness result in jealousy?"
"When you have a competitive mindset, you tend to view the world in terms of winners and losers. So you resent other people getting recognition, because you somehow believe that less recognition is available to you. I'm learning that this is a false mindset. There's not a fixed amount of success and recognition in the world. So another person's accomplishments don't diminish the accomplishments available to you."
What fascinates me most about HONY is merely his ability to capture deep sketches of real people that he has never met before. (Not to mention how outgoing he needs to be to do that, but maybe I only take note of that because I'm an introvert). When I see someone when I'm in public, say, on the Metro, the stranger and I are generally both in what is known to actors as "first circle:" the impersonal, self-absorbed realm, in which the people in the interaction (if you can even call it that) make no attempt to connect whatsoever. The stranger has stories, and I have stories. But all we will ever know of each other is based solely on the physical, if we even take the time to glance at one another. When I scroll through HONY's page, I get to see a web of stories that are disparate yet interconnected; touching and insightful, or funny and lighthearted; heart-wrenchingly sad, or sweet and innocent. Basically, it's a place where everyone gets to tell their story: whether they're perceived by society as someone invisible, like a garbage worker, or if they're hilariously flamboyant and irrevocably noticeable.
When I think about HONY, there are two thoughts that strike me the most. The first is that despite the masks we put on-- class markers, facial expressions, clothing-- nobody is as different as we like to believe. We all share in a common humanity, and trying to escape that would be like trying to drain the blue from the sky and the green from the grass. We're different, undoubtedly, and that is a wonderful thing. But we often get caught up in that and forget how much we truly share.
The second thought is that when I look at the simple (or complex) wisdom of ordinary people, I realize that I'm not giving humanity enough credit. I look at the things going on in the world: hunger, wars, oppression, and just plain, everyday meanness, and I often despair. But it is the majority; the ordinary, everyday people, who will ultimately make a difference in the future. Not some group of politicians: the everyday humans who constitute the biggest part of the global population. And just by getting a small glance at what these ordinary people think about through HONY, I honestly don't feel so dejected. Yes, there are a lot of problems in the world, and yes, they're horrible. People kill each other. People emotionally abuse other people. People are denied what we all agreed long ago were basic human rights: education, happiness, the right to marry the person you love, etc. But we are not without hope. And this Facebook page is just something that helps remind me of that.
As someone truly great once said: Ta ta for now!