Wanna know what the best page on Facebook is?
And I’m not saying that because the media are loving it up (yes, I know… stative verb, blah blah blah) at the moment and I’m getting caught up in the hype. Nope. I’m saying it because I’ve been following this page for about three years now and several times a day something pops up in my newsfeed that touches me deeply or makes me smile. Because Humans of New York is so deeply… human.
It gives us a brief glimpse into the ordinary lives of ordinary people and each one of them is… well, extraordinary.
I bet Brandon (the guy behind HONY) would come out as a Supporter if he did the Wealth Dynamics test. He’s all about people. I could so see myself doing what he does. My favourite parts of my trip to NYC last summer were the conversations I had with random people there: a girl waiting for a job interview in a bagel shop, a barman in a whiskey bar on the Lower East Side, a taxi driver, a homeless woman… All of them have left an indelible memory.
And if there’s one thing I learnt when Mum died, it’s that it’s often the ordinary moments that become indelible memories.
But I digress!!
The reason I was going to mention Humans of New York today is because it’s currently featuring the stories of different people in a school (Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn) that captured people’s hearts when one of its students was caught on camera and shared with us that the person who’d influenced him the most was his principal, and that “One time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter.”
The public was so moved by this that they asked Brandon to go meet the principal, Ms Lopez, so he could introduce her to us. One thing led to another and HONY has so far raised nearly 1.2 million dollars for the school. The money will be used to set up summer programmes for years to come, organise visits to Harvard to inspire the kids to work harder, etc.
Today’s story was about one of the newer teachers. He’s only been teaching for a year. He told us about a lesson he taught, during which he had the kids build structures out of manila folders, sticky tape, straws, and different materials. But because he thought they’d find that rather boring, he went out to a party shop and bought them each a yellow plastic hard hat. I love it!
And here is what happened in his own words: “When I handed them out, they transformed the kids. The hats made them feel like builders. They got very serious and competitive. Other kids saw them through the window, and asked to join, until all the hats were gone.”
Just like that. So simple.
So it got me thinking: Where could I use a little prop to boost me up and help me play the part? Where could you? What kind of prop would you choose?
P.S: I feel like I’ve gone all over the place with this post tonight, but maybe that’s because it didn’t need to be about yellow plastic hats. Sometimes things don’t have to be about what we think they’re supposed to be about, right?