In the hustle and bustle of modern living, it’s not uncommon to find yourself forgetting that, you know what, we’re all in this together. That’s the unspoken mission statement of Humans of New York, the hugely popular portrait project of Brandon Stanton, a photographer who began capturing candid snaps of people going about their days on the streets of New York City and beyond. The quotes that accompany the simple yet arresting photographs are lightning-fast avenues into the inner lives of strangers. They are at turns heartrending, touching, surprising, and almost always inspiring.
With more than 13 million likes on Facebook and now a best-selling book, HONY—as it is shorthanded—is an Internet sensation, encouraging followers to expand their perspectives and think twice about the people they share the subway with, or those who gruffly bump into them on the street. With thoughts on love, loss, and everything in between, the snippets captured are powerful stuff. Scroll to read some of the best.