30 photos that reveal the strength of the human spirit

December 31, 2016

People often find it hard to imagine what life is like in other countries. To some extent we all live separately from the outside world. But there are some things which unite all of humanity. We all experience the same wide range of emotions — joy, despair, hatred, love, sadness, excitement, inspiration, desire. We’re all motivated to cut our own path through life and struggle against obstacles to get what we want.

This collection of photographs, we think, reflects something of this gamut of feelings and emotions our world experiences every day. Once you’ve seen them, they’re hard to forget.


China. An eleven-year-old boy suffering from a brain tumour requests that his liver and kidneys be donated to others, to save several other people should he die. The doctors express thanks to him and his mother.

© Marc Riboud

Seventeen-year-old Jan Rose Kasmir gives a flower to a soldier during an anti-war protest near the Pentagon, 1967.

© Stephanie Sinclair

A ten-year-old girl smiles after being granted a divorce from her older husband.

© Wojtek Kalka

A monk shares his meal with a tiger.

© Patricia Willocq

A three-week-old albino baby sleeps curled up next to his cousin.

© National Geographic

Bali. A man plays a bamboo flute to entertain a disabled boy, whom he loves likes his own son.

© J. Steinfeld, National Geographic 1987

A surgeon sits following a successful 23-hour heart transplant operation. His assistant sleeps in the corner.

© Super Express

His patient not only survived, but outlived the surgeon, who died in 2009.

© Manuel Balce Ceneta

A woman sits by the grave of her husband one day before their wedding anniversary.

© Horace Abrahams

A journalist running across a bridge with a child during the Spanish Civil War, 1936.

© Andrew Renneisen

A woman finally receives her husband’s remains 60 years after he disappeared during the Korean War.

© James Nachtwey

A young man from Rwanda shows the scars he received in a death camp.

© scnews.com

China. These people prevented a woman from committing suicide.

© Stuart Franklin

A man protests on Tiananmen Square, Beijing, 1989.

© Christopher J. Morris

Vancouver. A musician cries during a service for the victims of 9/11.

© Eric Lafforgue

Ethiopia. A child of the Erbore tribe.

© Caroline Joan Peixoto, City Arts

Pupils at a classical ballet school in Rwanda — the first one to appear after the genocide.

© Luke Duggleby

100,000 monks pray for world peace.

An Irish teenager screams at British soldiers during the period of disorder in Northern Ireland.

© Carol Guzy

Kosovo. A boy is passed through the barbed wire fence of a refugee camp to his grandparents.

A soldier feeds a two-week-old kitten during the Korean War.

© Soldier_Scott68 on Reddit

Afghanistan. A little girl holds the hand of an American soldier.

© Life Magazine

Astronaut Anna Lee Fisher on the cover of Life magazine in 1985. She became the first mother in space.

© Eric Lafforgue

A woman from the Mursi tribe of Ethiopia examines «Vogue» for the first time.

© Humans Of Tehran

Teenage girls, Tehran.

© Evansville Courier & Press

A fireman saves a little girl, USA.

© Александр Романов

Children who live inside the Arctic Circle. Tazov Peninsula, Russia.

© Sam Grandgeorge

A little girl from Guatemala clings to her cat.