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Home Culture & Arts 15 Women Of Humans Of New York Who Inspire Us

15 Women Of Humans Of New York Who Inspire Us

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  • The Busy Mom

    The Busy Mom

    "I just defended my dissertation."

    We love this woman's positive smile and determination. She shows us what busy truly means. 

  • The Proud Mama

    The Proud Mama

    "My husband died of cancer 18 months ago. But every day I still get to see his smile, his kindness, and his sense of humor."

    Despite a tragic loss, this woman is still able to find positivity and happiness. Her big smile shows her inspiring strength and positivity. 

  • The Woman Who Dares To Be Different

    The Woman Who Dares To Be Different

    "I'm trying to undo the awful propaganda against rats and pigeons."

    This woman's love for animals shows how selfless one can be. Her unique style teaches us to never judge a book by its cover and to always go out of our way to understand others. 

  • The Woman Who Defines Positivity

    The Woman Who Defines Positivity

    “She has such a deep joy for life. She’s the one that taught me that no matter what happens, we’ll be just fine. I’ve always been so serious and ambitious, but I haven’t always been able to live up to my own standards. I wanted to get into a top law school, but that didn’t happen I went to a fourth tier law school instead. Then after I graduated, I kept failing to get the job I wanted. But after each setback, she always gave me the sense that no matter what happened, we’d be just fine. She taught me that early on. So when her health problems started, I knew that even if she’s never able to walk again—we’ll be just fine."

    This woman's husbands explanation of how truly great she is makes us appreciate all that we have. Her positivity is contagious. 

  • The Brave Student

    The Brave Student

    "I'm an illegal immigrant."

    This young woman's pride is beaming from her. We appreciate her honesty, courage and ability to share a secret without being shameful. 

  • The Mom Who Has It All Under Control

    The Mom Who Has It All Under Control

    “My story didn’t turn out like I thought. Without going into it, I’ll just say that I’m a lot more alone than I thought I’d be at this point. But I’ve also learned that I’m a lot stronger than I realized, and I’m proud of myself for that. We took a beach trip recently. I got us all packed up, drove us there, and we had a great dayall by ourselves. On the ride home, I remember thinking: ‘I got this.’”

    This woman's acceptance of reality is beautiful. She gave us a glimpse into a happy time in her life and shows us how to be strong. 

  • The Woman Who Teaches Respect

    The Woman Who Teaches Respect

    “One of her teachers told me that she called one of her friends a ‘dog,’ and I was so disappointed that I started crying. I don’t know where she got that from, but it was not from my house. We have never compared people to animals. I think she was trying to impress some other kids that don’t share her soul. We had a long talk. Then I called the other parents and apologized. And we’ve had several play dates since then, and she’s been very kind.”

    We love how this mother was honest about her child's mistake and took us through the process of teaching her a valuable lesson in respect. Their matching outfits are also totally adorable. 

  • The Woman Who Finds Control In Chaos

    The Woman Who Finds Control In Chaos

    “I think I focus too much on my career because it has always been my point of control. If I have a conflict with friends, or somebody close to me is sick, I tend to focus all my energy into my job. I think it started in high school when my parents got divorced. I knew I couldn’t control what was happening to my family. But I could control how I did in school. So it’s all I focused on.”

    We can all probably relate to this woman in wanting to find control when something goes wrong. But what inspires us is her ability to put her energy into something productive. 

  • The Boss Ladies

    The Boss Ladies

    “My grandparents started this restaurant in 1971 after coming over from Italy. I work as a hostess. My mom’s the manager. My grandmother still comes in every night and makes the sauce.”

    These women look so happy. We love that they know how to run a business and support each other, all while staying a happy family. 

  • The Woman Who Feels What So Many Feel

    The Woman Who Feels What So Many Feel

    “When I was depressed, it felt like I was walking through mud all the time. My head was filled with thoughts like, ‘If my friends knew who I really was, they wouldn’t love me.’ And, ‘What right do I have to exist?’ And, eventually, ‘Why do any of us have the right to exist?’ If people were being kind to me, I wasn’t able to access that kindness. It wouldn’t produce a feeling in me. If a child smiled at me from a stroller, it might lift me up for a millisecond, but then I’d fall back into darkness. Before I was depressed, I could find joy in things so easily. I worked as a gardener, and I learned the calls of the birds so I could tell where they were just by listening. I loved to show new plants and insects to children, and see how excited they’d get. I made a 50th birthday card for my sister, and got strangers from all over the world to write ‘Happy Birthday’ in their language. But during my depression, I couldn’t access any of that joy. I’d try reminding myself that other people had bigger problems. I’d try telling myself to quit being weak, and to snap out of it. But nothing worked.”

    This woman inspires us because she is able to explain what so many people feel but cannot actually put into words. Her pain is evident in her face, but can make so many people feel that they are not alone. 

  • The Strong Mother-Daughter Duo

    The Strong Mother-Daughter Duo

    "The landlord gave me a deadline of Sunday the 15th. On the 13th, I went to the guidance counselor at my daughter’s school, and she gave me forms for the homeless shelter. My back was against the wall. I didn’t have any other alternatives. Some days it’s OK. But some days I feel helpless and sad. On those days, I think back to the years when everything was going good. My daughter is a blessing. She's been so strong through all of this. If she see’s that I’m sad, she’ll lay with me, hug me, and make sure I’m OK.”

    Both of these women help us understand the effects of poverty, and the power of strength. This mother and daughter teach us that working as a team with love and support can make the darkest of times a littler brighter. 

  • The Mom Who Makes Sacrifices

    The Mom Who Makes Sacrifices

    “I told the older one that he could take karate lessons, but when I did research, I found out that it was $150 week. That was more than we could afford. But I paid it anyway because I made a commitment. And if I break a promise, I’m teaching them that they can break a promise too. I want them to know that my ‘yes’ means ‘yes,’ and my ‘no’ means ‘no.’”

    This mom helps us remember to be thankful for everyone who has ever made sacrifices on our behalf, big or small. She also shows us how moms have the ability to sneak lessons into everything they do. 

  • The Selfless Woman

    The Selfless Woman

    “I try to volunteer two days a week. It’s really been a reality check for me. You see how difficult it can be to live in a city, and how out-of-control people’s lives can become. I’ll never forget one moment last Christmas. I was helping to serve food, and in walked a very well dressed family with two children. The youngest boy didn’t want to eat, so the mother kept trying to coax food into his mouth, but he’d just tighten his lips. Then I heard the father lean in and whisper: ‘You have to eat, because we have no more food at home.’”

    It can often seem like we don't have enough time to volunteer or help others, but this woman shows us how truly important and impactful our actions really are. 

  • The Tough Cookie

    The Tough Cookie

    "I've only been playing for three weeks. I had to miss a couple practices already because I tried to catch the ball and it hit me in the face."

    This woman's smile shows us that she doesn't give up easily. Her humor about a painful situation shows us that we shouldn't sweat the small stuff. 

  • The Change Maker

    The Change Maker

    "Just the other day, I was walking down 116th Street when a big, handsome man walked up and gave me a hug. I’d first met him when he was 7. He was the oldest brother in a family of four who were housed in a nearby shelter. When he came to us, his father had just committed suicide by drinking Clorox in Central Park. His father had been mentally ill, and before he killed himself, he had told the boy that he’d kill him too. So the boy kept having dreams. He kept dreaming that his father was Uncle Scar, and he was coming to kill him. He became obsessed with The Lion King. He stopped going to school. He stopped looking at people. When you approached him, you couldn’t move too quickly, or he’d be terrified. But we started working with him, and he started to improve. We discovered that he was an ace at math. And all these years later, I just ran into him on the street. He was 6 foot 5’ and buttoned up in a suit! He seemed very happy and has a great job at an embassy now.”

    We love this woman's pride about doing such a great deed. We can't imagine how many lives she has changed, and her compassion makes us want to go out and make change. 


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