The world may seem like a cold and harsh place, but little acts of kindness, hope and compassion remind us that it is not completely so. When it comes to capturing these instances, pictures do speak – no, scream, a thousand words. No matter the passage of time, some photographs leave such a powerful emotional imprint on us that they remain branded in our memories and our histories forever. These photographs are important to us as a collective species – for they not only convey the pain and despair of the human condition, but also the beauty that lies beneath it. We bring you a list of 15 such powerful photographs that will restore your faith in humanity.
1. Miles Scott, a.k.a. “Batkid”; child and cancer survivor. When asked what he wanted more than anything else in the world, he replied, “I wish to be Batkid”. San Francisco made his wish come true.
2. A boy holds his mother’s leg outside of their home in Sichuan province, China, after being ravaged by a 6.6 magnitude earthquake.
3. San Francisco’s City Hall, after the Supreme Court green-lighted same-sex marriage in California. Sue Rochman and Robin Romdalvik hug their son Maddox Rochman-Romdalvik.
4. Peshawar, Northwest Pakistan; A man carries a child away from the site of a car bombing.
5. Rescue workers carry a child away from the rubble of a collapsed building in Mumbai, India.
6. A woman stops a military bulldozer from advancing towards a wounded man in the street; Cairo.
7. A boy carries a dog through the monsoon floodwaters in Manila, Philippines.