Life altering circumstances often bring out dormant parts of one’s character that unlock new paths for exploration. This photo essay is an illustration of what one can witness solely from the vantage point of a bench. It shows the sights you can see, and the people you can meet. There is so much power in just listening to others. When we make ourselves available to listen to people, we create a space for embracing their stories. Everyone has a story, and the more stories that are told, the better. In the words of novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.” Here are the stories that I captured from various benches throughout Washington DC.