“You can’t take something as complex as the human mind, compartmentalize it, and regiment its development so strictly.”

I was thinking the other day how limited we are to the words in the dictionary. Words can’t even begin to describe the extensive collection of thoughts inside the human brain. We wonder why it is so hard to put real things into words. Experiences, specific personalities are too convoluted. We will never be able to transfer an image from our minds to someone else’s mind. There are words in other languages for something we don’t know exists because we’ve never defined it with a word.

I found the above quote in the Humans of New York Stories book by Brandon Stanton. I love the idea of this book because it shines light on pure individuality.The people in the stories share a glimpse of their lives. Without any prior knowledge, we get to see how others view the world. I am continually impressed with Brandon’s ability to get people to open up to him.

Hearing these stories reminds me that everyone has a mark, their own personal print that they make in the world. Everyone has had an experience that has changed their life and made them change their plans. Everyone has emotions that make things more difficult. But most of all, everyone has something that can share with the world.

I love the individuality of these stories, each one as unique and unpredictable as the people of New York City. They shatter the assumptions of outsiders. The stories, and their accompanying pictures, are taken at random throughout the city. They reveal humanity in its rawest form. I think I appreciate Brandon’s approach because he doesn’t leave anything out. He shows you exactly how it is. I crave that in humans. I find it unappealing to cover up what it is that make us unique. I want to hear the stories that changed your life. I want to hear your weirdest quirks. I want to hear what sets your soul on fire. Normal is boring. Just as the quote suggests, we can’t control the limits of our mind. We can’t compare our minds to others by classifying them and seeing how they fit with the others, because it’s not going to fit. And forcing it to fit is going to leave you less you.


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