Cities are full of fragments of lives scattered throughout public places. We seldom think of the detritus that rolls into the gutters — the props left on the urban stage that hint at the stories, experiences, and the lives of strangers — but perhaps we should. Whose lipstick stained that cigarette butt? Who left their scarf on the subway? Even a few seconds of speculative daydream suffices to remind us that there are others like us in even the loneliest parts of a city.
But there are other stories, more rare, but told more explicitly, that immediately command our gaze and our attention: those told in paint or ink that spill wisdom, experience, and longing. What's behind the motivation of someone who risks fines and freedom to actually say something in a piece of anonymous graffiti? We can only speculate. We can only pause and consider the message delivered and, if it resonates with us, carry it in our hearts. That's the power of these messages: we often happen upon them when we need them the most, when we need to be reminded of hope and strength and love.
The following examples of uplifting graffiti and street art (and yes, at least one is undoubtedly a mural) were aggregated from the Canadian Graffiti subreddit. Be sure to visit it for more amazing and inspiring messages in spray paint and marker.