Humans of Big Rapids

Humans of New York (HNY) on Facebook features some of the most touching, heartwarming and heartbreaking stories of anonymous New Yorkers.

I love reading these stories about people and the important moments in their lives, their philosophy or outlook on life and their candidness to talk about a personal struggle or pain that they’re going through.

When I look at the stories that HNY writes for their site, I wonder to myself what kinds of questions they ask the New Yorkers. Are they conversational when they talk? Does HNY have an agenda when they talk to some of the people they meet on the street?

One of my personal favorite stories lately was a man doing post-doctoral research into health economics. He said his findings would be helpful in getting the most value for each Medicare dollar spent to maximize care and lifespan for recipients.

He paraphrased Martin Luther King, Jr. and said the greatest injustice in America is the distribution of healthcare in our society.

There’s a story of a former Ferris State student on HNY’s Facebook page, which I thought was cool just because he’s a fellow member of the same university.

“So when it came time to go to college, I took a bunch of small pieces of paper and wrote down every state where I didn’t know a single person. Then I shuffled them up and picked out Michigan. Then I got on Google and typed ‘cross country, advertising, Michigan, university.’ And that’s how I ended up choosing my school,” said Ferris advertising/integrated marketing communications graduate Carlvin Dorvilier to HNY.

Dorvilier’s short story in HNY is both sad and interesting because his parents died when he was 15 years old. In his Ferris State bio from 2013, Dorvilier said to be limited in choices was his greatest fear and the degree and opportunity that he earned from Ferris helped him conquer that fear.

While I don’t look for stories from HNY every day, there’s something I like to learn from each one that I come across on Facebook, whether it’s a simple thing that someone says, or trying to analyze why HNY chose the quote they did for the picture.

HNY makes me want to be a better writer and a better communicator. It’s a goal of mine to be a better reporter and setting a goal to talk with random people each day would be a great exercise in meeting a vast number of people and getting their stories.