Bite Size Stories of Humanity
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“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
The wisest, most loving, and most well-rounded people you have ever met are likely those who have been shattered somehow.
Yes, life often creates the most incredible humans by breaking them first.
The painstaking journey of falling apart and coming back together fills their hearts and minds with a level of compassion, understanding, and deep loving wisdom that can’t possibly be acquired any other way.
Angel and I have worked with hundreds of these incredible people over the past decade, both online and offline, through various forms of coaching and live events.
In many cases, they came to us feeling stuck and lost, unaware of their own brilliance, blind to the fact that their struggles have strengthened them and given them a resilient upper hand in this crazy world. Honestly, many of these people are now our biggest heroes.
Over the years, they have given us as much, if not more, than we have given them.
And they continue to be some of our greatest sources of inspiration.
So today, to honor our unlikely heroes, we want to share a selection of their stories with you (more…)
These 25 Heartwarming Photos Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity
We're barraged daily with stories, photos, and videos of all that's wrong with the world, so it's no wonder people tend to forget the acts of kindness that people across the globe perform every single day. Take a look at the list below of all the kindness going on in the world, and keep them on recall whenever news of mass shootings, hairy international incidents or political disputes are dragging you down. If you've lost your faith in humanity or fear you will soon, these photos should put a skip in your step.
1. A man on the verge of winning the London Marathon stopped to help a struggling competitor, then led him across the finish line so he could win instead.
2. When they found out their teacher’s kitten had died, her students surprised her with a new one.
3. A city worker collected a bunch of dirty blankets from a park, washed and folded them, then returned them to the park.
4. This man’s dog can’t walk anymore, so he takes her out for her daily walks in a wheelchair.
5. These garbage men decide to take a much-needed break - on a playground!
6. During a rainstorm, Wendy’s employee removed an outside umbrella and used it to shield an elderly man.
7. A cashier displayed compassion when she took this elderly man's order, then went outside to help him to his seat and even hand-delivered his order.
8. During a protest in Brazil, a general asked people not to fight on his birthday. The protesters made him a birthday cake.
9. A young boy with an inoperable brain tumor was sworn in as his city's youngest police officer.
10. Beachgoers formed a human chain to save swimmers caught in a riptide in Panama City, Florida.
11. A little girl didn’t realize she was headed for a birthday trip to Disneyland until it was announced on the PA system on her Southwest flight.
12. A stranger saw a woman waiting for a table for one during the crowded lunch hour - so he asked her to join him and his party at their table.
13. As residents evacuated ahead of Hurricane Irma, a young boy noticed the car ahead of theirs had Florida plates. So he jumped out of the car and paid for their meals.
14. Workers at a Little Caesar's hung up this sign after seeing a homeless man digging through the Dumpsters for something to eat.
15. A woman cut holes in the privacy fence between her house and her neighbors - all so the curious German shepherd next door could have some company while her owners were away.
16. This bride surprised her grandmother by wearing the wedding dress she herself had worn in 1962.
17. Two police officers buy lunch for a mentally handicapped man at a Louisiana Taco Bell. 18. A child shares a food kit with his dog after a devastating earthquake in Mexico.
19. Instead of selling them, this man gave his two extra tickets to a Spain-Holland sporting event to a young boy who couldn't afford to go.
20. After a woman became trapped in the gap, commuters in Japan worked together to push a 32-ton train car away from the platform.
21. A kindhearted stranger gave a homeless man who only had one book to read a Kindle. 22. A man uses an umbrella to save a kitten that was drowning in a canal.
23. Window washers in Memphis dress up as superheroes to cheer up children in a hospital.
24. This man’s best friend suffers from severe arthritis. So every day, he takes him to a lake and holds him up to help relieve the pain.
25. These little girls take time out of their day to make sure a cow is well hydrated.
29 Beautiful Stories That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity
In a time when the 24-hour news cycle bombards us with stories of tragedy, heartbreak, and deceit, it can be difficult to keep our heads up and remain optimistic about the world we live in. But amid the tragedy and sadness, we receive daily glimpses of hope and happiness—moments when our spirits are lifted, and we’re reminded of the generosity and kindness of others. The following is a mixture of personal and newsworthy tales that restore our faith in humanity.
People Restoring Faith in Humanity
1. Unsolicited Help
A Sudanese woman, Alik, who was pregnant and had two young children in tow, arrived in Fort Worth, Texas, without her husband, Dyan, in 2012. Upon leaving their refugee camp in Egypt, Dyan wasn’t able to make the journey with his family because the couple had no official proof of their marriage with them. Alik was processed as a single mother and was bumped to the top of the resettlement list. Her husband, a single man, was moved down to the bottom.
Over the next four years, two women with The Village Church in Fort Worth helped Alik and her children get their lives started in the U.S.—and helped restore faith in humanity. The women also called congressional representatives, spoke with attorneys, and met with social workers in an attempt to help Dyan come to the U.S.
After four years, Dyan was finally reunited with his wife and three children, including the baby Alik was pregnant with when she left. Video footage shows Dyan dropping to his knees in a tearful prayer of thanksgiving once he was reunited with his family.
2. All Are Welcome
Justin Norman of Dallas held this sign in front of the Islamic Center of Irving—restoring our faith in humanity. He did it to “share the peace with his neighbors,” according to his Facebook page.
3. Neighborly Love
In the predawn hours of a Saturday morning in January 2017, an arsonist set fire to the Victoria Islamic Center, a mosque in Victoria, Texas. The fire gutted the building, but the shocked community immediately responded with love. The Jewish and Christian communities of Victoria quickly stepped up. They offered their churches and a synagogue for worship to a congregation of fewer than 150 people. When a GoFundMe account was set up to raise funds for rebuilding the uninsured structure, it surpassed the goal of $850,000 within days. More than $1 million was raised from people of all beliefs—including atheists.
4. Respect the Hustle
Hijinio Camacho, a vendor who set up his cart on the University of California, Santa Barbara, campus, hung up a sign with his Venmo username one day. This way, students could pay for their elotes (Mexican street corn) and raspados (snow cones) through their cellphones. A photograph of him went viral online. Soon after, people from around the world began sending donations to applaud his hustle.
5. Let There Be Love
In March 2017, Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Modern Love column, “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” appeared in print and online in The New York Times. In it, the accomplished author battling terminal cancer created a dating profile for her husband of 26 years. She shared her hope that “the right person reads this, finds Jason and another love story begins.” Her generosity of spirit in the face of adversity floored me. And although her death 10 days after her column was published is a tremendous loss for those who loved and admired her, Rosenthal’s unselfishness was truly admirable despite her suffering.
6. Lending a Helping Hand
Impressed by his work ethic, Derrick Taylor’s UPS co-workers pooled their resources in order to buy the Alabama teen a Jeep Cherokee—and helped restore faith in humanity. Not wanting to burden or rely on others for rides, the teen walked an approximately 10-mile round trip commute to work, in the dark, for more than a year. Taylor, who was 19 at the time, had been working since the age of 14 to support his sick mother. He was moved to tears by his colleagues’ gesture.
7. Touched by an Angel
Stephen Parker found himself trapped under his Toyota Prius after the car fell on him while working underneath it. This is it, he thought. His 17-year-old son, Mason, was inside the house, leaving Parker’s 8-year-old son, J.T., to try to use the carjack to save his father. And he did. When J.T. was asked how he found the strength to lift up the car, the 50-pound boy said angels helped him.
8. Trail Angel Mary
In 2001 Mary Parry was homeless and living in a tent in Pennsylvania when she began befriending hikers along the roughly 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail. Today she’s one of the trail’s most well-known “trail angels.” She routinely opens her two-bedroom apartment a block from the trail to strangers with backpacks. In a typical year, she shelters or shuttles up to 800 hikers who text her or knock on her door, giving them home-cooked meals, rides, the use of her car, and a place to shower and sleep.
To weary, grimy, hungry “hiker trash,” Trail Angel Mary is a godsend. But she said God sent them first. “Helping them,” Parry said, “is my way of thanking God for him bringing those people to me when I was having a rough time in my life.”
9. Up in the Air
In March 2017, Alaska Airlines pilot Jodi Harskamp donated a kidney to flight attendant Jenny Stansel and restored faith in humanity. “I lose a kidney, and she gets to live,” Harskamp reasoned. “It’s pretty easy. There’s really no question.” The captain didn’t hesitate, despite the small chance she could never fly again if having only one remaining kidney left her too weak to pass stringent pilot health standards. But she was in luck. In July of the same year, both women were back at work on a flight to Seward, Alaska.
10. Silent Struggles
A poem for a stranger
There is a man she sees weekly when he visits her café,
She hears the girls whisper, “Tall, dark, and handsome,” though she doesn’t see him in this way.
A grin from ear to ear and always a pleasant thing to say,
She found that simply his presence alone could salvage greatness within her day.
Yet there are times when he looks troubled, and once she was brave enough to ask why,
He said his grandmother was very ill, and his family struggled to get by.
A shock because, from appearances, he always looked just fine,
Nice hair, a job, and an AMEX. Who would guess he had problems of this kind?
Months passed, and she noticed his lighthearted manner with customers or the occasional friend in town,
Stuck behind a digital highlight reel, spotting the thorn in his crown was nearly impossible.
One afternoon, while mopping the floor, she overheard a phone call that left him in a terrible frown,
Insurance asked for more money than he had, and her heart began to drown.
She dashed to the bar and, on his cup, scribbled a sharpie note spiraled all around,
Then handed his drink with a closed-lipped smile, not making a single sound.
He looked at his chaotic cup, puzzled, struggling to understand,
She pointed for him to read it with a swift gesture of her hand.
The words looked a little bit awkward, and some letters were squished and not lined up just right,
But to the man in the café, this message changed his thoughts on what people call love at first sight:
“I want to thank you, brother, for everything that you do,
But especially for being gentle and patient when people assume things of you.
Like when you smile from your lips to your eyes, and they believe you’ve never felt “real pain,”
They see you standing so strong. They cannot imagine you so low as having to crawl
through mud and rain.
You carry this invisible burden, brother, and never speak of it aloud,
Because the fact that you carry it is not something you are proud of.
Though you’ve accepted the cards you’ve been dealt, you wish that people knew,
How much more effort does the world demand for just simply being you?
But I want you to know I see you, brother, for ALL that you are,
And be proud to know that you shine brighter than the other stars to some.
Because you’ve not lost your temper or heart, even though, yes, the system is flawed,
Ten thousand hours just to be equal, 10,000 more to hear the applause.
So all I ask is that as you open the door and begin to start your day,
You say to yourself and truly believe, “I am already a success story today.”
With watery eyes, they smiled, he opened his mouth, but she insisted, “You don’t need to say a word.
This life is about feeling connected and seen, not just about being heard.”
He nodded right then, and he kissed her ever so softly on the cheek,
Replying, “I cannot express how grateful I am, sister, that our paths allowed us to meet.”
They do not speak that often, but when they converse, it is quite grand,
Much deeper than quiet pleasantries and a soft shake of the hand.
They share dreams and struggles openly, and never their talk is just small,
How wasted this life would be if we didn’t tend to the roots that help us grow tall.
They laugh, they cry, they hug, and always before they part,
They look at each other slyly and say, “Thank you for letting me see you today;
truly from the bottom of my heart.”
11. A Toast to Charles’ Wife
Sitting on a cramped bench in the oldest pub in Dublin, I met Charles. He toasted his Guinness with mine in honor of his upcoming 60th birthday.
Taking a hefty gulp, Charles said, “This is the second-to-last surprise.”
I was intrigued. “Each month leading up to my birthday, my wife has surprised me with something off of my bucket list,” he elaborated.
She’d said time wasn’t slowing down, but I could tell in his tone it meant more to him than the satisfaction of a checkmark.
The surprises began with dinner at the swankiest restaurant from their hometown in Brussels and progressed to skydiving, matching tattoos, and a “bachelor’s” weekend in Ireland.
She woke him up at 5:30 a.m. that morning with plane tickets and his two best friends at the doorstep.
Thirty-six years after their marriage, they’re still best friends.
It made my chest flicker, which I promptly pushed aside because even happy tears aren’t allowed in a pub. Their story wasn’t exaggeratedly fairy tale blessed—they’d met at the bank. But it was real and unselfish.
I asked Charles about his wife’s birthday, and he chuckled. “I have ten months to try and top this,” he gestured around the room, live music bouncing off of every wooden stool and pint glass. “I’m screwed.”
12. Good Day to You
Commutes can be the bane of city dwellers’ existence, but not for commuters at the Armitage train station in Chicago. In the coldest of winter mornings, Janet Martin, with Chicago Transit Authority, mans the turnstiles, welcoming customers with a smile.
Slowly, zombielike commuters open their eyes, lift their chins and rip out their headphones to return her greeting.
“Good morning, everyone! Have a fantastic day!” Martin bellows. She’s eager to help someone with questions or a problem.
Janet has given me pep talks for job interviews and has helped me when I have forgotten my train pass. She asks me if I’ve packed my umbrella if it's a rainy day.
When I moved and took a different train, my commutes were lackluster without Martin. But when I returned, she embraced me like an old friend.
“You’re back!” she exclaimed. “Welcome home.”
Yes, I was home.
Restoring Faith in Humanity by Helping Kids
13. By Your Side
Los Angeles resident Mohamed Bzeek encompasses what it means to be selfless.
He has taken in terminally ill children who have been in the L.A. foster care system for over 20 years. He started with his wife, Dawn, and has been doing it alone since her death in 2014.
Bzeek, originally from Libya, has cared for over 80 children, including a blind, deaf, and paralyzed 6-year-old girl. He said that although she couldn’t see or hear him, he always held her and talked to her so she knew she was not alone in the world.
14. News to My Ears
In March 2017, according to a press release from the New York Times Company, someone anonymously donated $1 million to pay for students across the country to receive free access to The New York Times online.
15. Scraps for Cash
When Johnny Jennings visited Georgia Baptist Children’s Home, he felt it was his life’s mission to help the children. He was 18 at the time and not ready to adopt a child, so he started helping financially. Jennings began collecting scrap paper and aluminum so he could cash in his collections for money. At the time of Jennings’ passing in September 2022, the 91-year-old had donated more than $400,000 over the course of his lifetime.
16. Adoption Advocate
Saroj Sood’s Indian Society for Sponsorship & Adoption (ISSA) helps lost, abandoned, orphaned children in Kolkata, India. Sood has upheld this motto for nearly five decades: “Adopting one child won’t change the world. But for that one child, the world will change.”
One boy famously paid it forward.
Sood took in a lost 5-year-old who was later adopted by Australians.
Decades later, as depicted in the six-time Oscar-nominated film Lion, the boy found his impoverished birth mother and began financially supporting her and ISSA.
17. Sunshine on a Ranney Day
In 2012 Holly Ranney combined her background in interior design with her husband’s construction expertise to give an 11-year-old cancer patient in Macon, Georgia, a bedroom makeover they paid for themselves. His reaction to the room changed the couple’s lives.
“Pete and I looked at each other and said, ‘Wow, this is definitely something we were meant to do,’” Ranney said. Today the duo heads Sunshine on a Ranney Day.
It’s an Atlanta-area nonprofit that offers free makeovers of child bedrooms, therapy rooms, and bathrooms for kids with long-term illnesses.
“A lot of these families don’t feel like they deserve it or think that there are others out there who need it more than them,” Ranney said. With the support of generous sponsors, volunteers, and donors, the couple has overseen a multitude of makeovers, giving families under incredible stress a huge home blessing and a new reason to smile.
In 2020, the couple opened the Sunny & Ranney Home Furnishings & Decor store in Roswell, Georgia, which helps to fund Sunshine on a Ranney Day.
Good News Stories That Restore Faith in Humanity
18. Relationship Goals
As the sister of a brother with Asperger’s syndrome, love stories like that of Florida couple Nico Morales and Latoya Jolly are my favorite. After meeting on a dating site for those on the autism spectrum, the two connected quickly. They built a deep relationship based on mutual understanding and support. Morales described their dynamic as being “even more extraordinary together.”
19. (Inter) Stellar News
A welcome break in the 24-hour news cycle came one morning in the form of an announcement from NASA. Seven Earth-size planets were discovered, three of which are “firmly located” in the habitable zone where life is most likely to thrive.
Unexpectedly cheered by the positive, uplifting headlines focused on innovation and good old-fashioned science, my faith in humanity was restored. I channeled my inner Neil deGrasse Tyson and took it upon myself to share the news with everyone I encountered for the rest of the day.
20. Walking Tall
In the summer of 2010, Chris Leeuw took a break from kayaking to climb a truss bridge and dive into a deep southern Indiana river.
Ten seconds later, he couldn’t feel anything from the neck down.
Another guy had jumped with Leeuw and drifted over mid-fall, landing on Leeuw’s neck and leaving the 28-year-old a quadriplegic by the time he surfaced. In the ensuing weeks and months, the wheelchair-bound Leeuw traversed a dizzying network of hospitals, outpatient centers, and nursing homes. But he found the maze of his care complicated, expensive, and not focused enough on his goal: walking again.
Low on traditional options, Leeuw discovered Neuroworx, a low-cost therapy center in Utah founded by a former quadriplegic, that allowed him to recuperate at his own pace for a tiny fraction of what traditional care would have cost.
Eighteen months after his accident, Leeuw walked again. Then 2015, fueled by the revelatory experience, he opened NeuroHope. It’s a low-cost clinic near downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, providing affordable therapy, equipment, and facilities to patients with spinal cord and other neurological injuries.
In its first two years, the facility expanded twice. It also received a state grant to expand its services and spearheaded legislation that funds affordable long-term therapy programs. “We’ve helped 36 patients on their road to recovery,” Leeuw said—a road that still stretches on.
21. Open Seating
While attending school, Natalie Hampton was snubbed when she asked to join others at their lunch table. In September 2016, Hampton aimed to wipe out that painful experience by creating the Sit With Us app.
Using it, kids agreed to be lunchtime ambassadors and post available seating. That way, lonely students, through their smartphones, can subtly find welcoming tablemates and make friends. The free app was quickly embraced when it launched and spread internationally within days.
22. Finding Forgiveness
Iceland native Thordis Elva, then 16, knows there are 7,200 seconds in two hours.
She knows this because she counted every single second of those two hours while being raped by her then-boyfriend, Tom Stranger, an exchange student from Australia.
After nearly a decade of written communication following the crime, the two found peace, forgiveness, and a drive to open society’s eyes to the realities of sexual violence and the misplaced blame that perpetuates the problem.
In their TedWomen talk, viewed more than 6 million times, Elva asks tough questions that society has yet to answer.
“How will we understand what produces violence in human societies if we refuse to recognize the humanity of those who commit it?
And how can we empower survivors if we’re making them feel less than others?
How can we discuss solutions to one of the biggest threats to the lives of women and children worldwide if the words we use are part of the problem?”
23. Beautifully Different
Talli Osborne is different. Her multicolored mohawk and multiple piercings make her look more like a band member than a motivational speaker. She rides a hot-pink scooter with skulls on it. To other “punx” in the punk rock community, she’s known as “Nubs,” based on the song “She’s Nubs,” written about Osborne. She believes that differences should be embraced.
Embracing the difference is nothing new for Osborne. She was born without arms and most bones in her legs, so she requires the scooter. But rather than letting this difference be a limitation, she embraces it.
In her words, she “lets her difference sparkle.”
Before becoming one of the most sought-after inspirational speakers on the TEDx roster, she rose through the ranks at Virgin Mobile Canada to earn the title of Best Customer Service Agent in the Americas.
Richard Branson even included her in his list of the world's top 10 most inspirational people.
With a natural gift for storytelling, her presentations weave humor, wit, and grace into powerful messages about acceptance and tolerance.
“I want people to leave my presentations feeling inspired and motivated, to be the best person they can be, to learn to love themselves, dream big and live life to the fullest,” Osborne says.
Charitable Causes that Restore Faith in Humanity
24. Secret Santa
Pat Rydzy, a retired dental hygienist from upstate New York, discovered a need one day in January 1997 when an adult male with developmental disabilities sat down in her hygienist’s chair.
The man was sad because “Santa Claus couldn’t come.”
It was three weeks after Christmas, so Rydzy knew the lack of presents made a dent in the man’s heart.
She discovered there were not enough extra funds to buy holiday gifts for the adults in the county’s Arc program, which helps people with mental and developmental disabilities.
“This seemed like a niche that was being missed,” Rydzy said. So, she began playing Secret Santa and restored faith in humanity.
Each fall, she asked group home coordinators to procure Christmas lists from their residents. Most are between 30 and 60, and many have outlived their own families. Rydzy scours sales flyers and stakes out Black Friday deals to fill every list every year.
Now, over two decades into this Secret Santa endeavor, Rydzy, her youngest daughter, and some elves from her church use their own money and some donations to buy and wrap presents for around 25 “kids at heart” each December.
“I feel like I’m doing something more than just Christmas gifts,” said Rydzy. “These are members of our community that we should be taking care of.”
25. A Ripple of Hope
When Aidan Thomas Anderson got involved with charity work at age 8, he thought he’d be inspiring his generation to give back.
“But adults are coming into the picture,” said the now 21-year-old, who speaks and performs music for thousands of people at corporate events.
“The need is so great for people to learn how to give.”
By the end of 2017, he had worked with 500 charities thanks to his Aidan Cares movement, which helps others find their passion for service. He’s also spoken alongside Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, has given his own TEDx Talk, and released multiple singles on iTunes.
“We don’t need to be a big deal,” insists Anderson. “Just a ripple.”
26. Scrolling for Kindness
Scrolling through Facebook one evening, I landed on a video that I thought might intrigue me.
But I don’t press the audio button unless something really grabs my attention.
So, I tentatively watched the soundless footage of a young girl interacting with a woman experiencing homelessness on the street.
Intrigued, I turned on the sound to hear the voice of Khloe Thompson, a then-9-year-old humanitarian who donates hygiene essentials to those in need. During “Kare Bag Day,” she—and the organizations and churches she collaborates with—deliver enough essentials to last two to three months in colorful, handmade totes called Kare Bags.
Witnessing her charity work, Khloe Kares, in action restored my faith in humanity.
27. Forward, Together
Multiple Sclerosis affects more than 2.8 million people worldwide.
More than 100,000 people participate in Walk MS events each year, many requiring assistance to complete the 3.1-mile walk.
Since the founding of the National MS Society in 1946—the organization which hosts Walk MS, among other events—more than $1 billion has been raised for MS research.
Restoring Faith in Humanity by Helping Animals
28. A Rescue Mission
Dogs that have been beaten, abused, run over, or left to die have a guardian angel and advocate—Jennifer Smith. Her Noah’s Arks Rescue charity pays the medical, rehabilitation, and caregiving costs for dogs that otherwise would be euthanized.
Thanks to numerous small donations and an undisclosed amount Smith kicks in, Noah’s Arks Rescue drops around $1.5 million each year to make miracles happen for these pups.
And when a dog can’t be saved, they throw a party for it before they say goodbye.
“When that dog passes,” Smith said, “he’s gonna have so much love around him that he’s gonna think he lived his whole life this way.”
29. All Dogs Go to Heaven
More people are adopting or fostering old dogs than ever, restoring faith in humanity.
One such dog is Danny Boy, an Australian cattle dog diagnosed with blood cancer once he landed at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco.
Foster parents Russell Utley and Marie Macaspac checked off a bucket list for the pup.
They took happy-go-lucky Danny to Half Moon Bay, California, to eat crabs bought off a boat, dressed him for fancy fundraisers, fed him homemade food, and took road trips.
Given three to six months to live, Danny stretched that to 15 months. During that time, Danny transformed the lives of his owners.
“Old dogs have a wonderful spirit,” said Utley. He later fostered a 16-year-old blind, deaf Chachito for Muttville, which pays for veterinary care, and rescued over 1,000 dogs in 2021. Senior dog rescue groups have popped up around the country in the past two decades, including the Thulani Senior German Shepherd Rescue in California. According to the rescue's website, It aims to find homes for 100 German Shepherds every year.