I’m sure many people of heard of or enjoy following “Humans of New York,” but if not, I encourage you to check it out. A photographer talks to strangers on the streets of New York – for just five minutes or so – and captures a photo of them as they answer a question. Many are powerful and it really “restores faith in humanity” as people like to say. If nothing else, the project unites the human race, in understanding and empathy.
One common question asked is “If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?”
I don’t live in New York so I doubt I will ever be featured in the project, but I got to thinking about what sort of advice I would want to convey to a large group of people.
I would tell the group to respect and appreciate the work of others. It is so easy to assume you are the only one working in your office, or the hardest worker in your office. It is so easy to assume that your job is the most important one or the one contributing most to your career field or community. But the truth is: The majority of people are working their butts off, and outsiders don’t understand. We criticize the work of others, without appreciating the impact their careers have on their own life.
I work in media, one of the most openly hated and disrespected career fields. But people don’t realize that we work for hardly any pay, to inform communities of things they demand knowing, but don’t want to give credit to the ones who inform them of those things. Just like engineers, doctors, secretaries, teachers, businessmen and women, and all other workers and career fields, we want respect and appreciation for the work we do.
When was the last time you met someone educated about the world around them without the use of newscasts, newspapers, magazines, social media, websites, or an app on their phone? We are professionals and experts in our field, just as others are in their respective fields. If we all looked at other’s work with the same understanding, respect and empathy we have for our own work or those in our career field, I think that is when real faith would be restored in humanity.