#HUMANSOFWAHIAWA

They’re strangers.
Strangers aren’t supposed to affect your daily life very much.
Strangers don’t have your trust.
They don’t have your time, like friends who’ve had years with you.
They don’t hold a place in your memory.

 
But these strangers have a power; these strangers have stories.
 

Their stories bridge the distance between your separate roads
and cause you to share a moment on their path.

Before you know it, you find the people that are the most obscure are suddenly influencing you. With their words and expressions lingering into your mind, you feel your heart inevitably soften, your mindset shift and your perspective grow.

These strangers that I’m referring to can be found on the highly popular blog ”Humans Of New York’‘.
If you are one of the few who haven’t heard of it, Humans Of New York was started by 20-something Brandon Stanton. Having lost his job in bond trading, Brandon hit the streets, to start photographing random people in New York City. Like any good photographer, Brandon interacted with his subjects and started to add the stories and quotes that stood out to him during those conversations.
Some photos are published with long captions, others have just one line, and all of them find their way to our hearts. They are now steadily covering instagram, facebook and tumblr feeds.
In a circle of irony, the ‘social’ networks that have been accused of discouraging
real interaction with even those that are closest to us, have come full circle to bring us
close to strangers.
 
A few weeks ago, the STN Marking Department sent out Surfing The Nations staff and interns into our town of Wahiawa to get to know the people, ‘Humans Of New York’ style. They documented their photos and stories on instagram with the hashtag  #humansofwahiawa.
Most people on the mainland and living elsewhere, imagine Hawaii to be swarming with native people sporting hula skirts and ukukleles, or perhaps they view it as a grown-up Disneyland full of tourists, with dolphins jumping over a volcano sitting under a rainbow.
Hawaii, and specifically Wahiawa, is a very diverse place. The #humansofwahiawa project put on display the different ages, races, hopes and dreams of our town.
There are many things that can be learned from the photos on Humans Of New York or  #humansofwahiawa, but more than anything, we learn that
everyone has a story, and that the most fascinating things we’ll hear
or see are still undiscovered. That is, unless we get out there, have the eyes to see, and open up our lives to strangers, or, rather, stories of our town.

 

Here’s just a few photos from the hashtag. Find more on instagram #humansofwahiawa !

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