10 uplifting things that made us smile this week

The internet can be a complicated place, but when you dig beneath social media's problematic elements, there are so many gems of joy to be found. From personal triumphs to adorable animal encounters to delightful moments caught on film, here are 10 things guaranteed to bring a smile to your face this week.

1. Woman celebrates becoming a published author at age 83.

Mary V. Macauley said she couldn't even send an email a short time ago, and now she's officially a published author in her ninth decade of life. It's never too late to follow your dreams, kids. (You can find her book "Free to Be Me" here.)

2. Daughter surprises her parents with her optometry school acceptance letter, and their reaction is priceless.

Her dad reading "Dear Gurjiv, COMMA" is just pure delight. So much joy in this family.



(Read the whole story here.)

3. Dog insists on joining a couple's first dance as a married couple.

Doggo doesn't want to be left out of the lovefest! Equally impressive and adorable.

4. Groom swats his bride's face mid-wedding ceremony, and it's actually hilariously sweet.

He was saving her from a bee! His expression after the instinctual swat is precious, their mutual laughter is adorable, and the officiant's "There was a bee" clarification for the people in the back is just perfectly timed.


5. Woman shared a sweet story of beloved children's author Eric Carle's unexpected response to her missing cat poster.

Eric Carle, the creator of more than 70 children's books including "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," didn't just help a stranger look for her cat, but also supported her emotionally through the whole ordeal. She didn't find out until afterward that the kind man who had helped her was famous children's author. (Read the whole story here.)

Lara B. Sharp


6. The same judge who gave a drug dealer a second chance swears him in as a lawyer 16 years later.

Judge Todd Russell Perkins saw something in Edward Martell when he showed up to his court as a drug dealer 16 years ago. Martell got his life together and became a lawyer this month—a beautiful story of second chances and redemption. (Read the whole story here.)

7. Disabled man celebrates overcoming obstacles to achieve independent living

Reddit user u/A-a-ron98 shared his celebratory announcement that he'd moved into his own place, living 100% independently. "Adulting" is hard for many, but for people with disabilities, being able to live independently can be a significant challenge. The support on Reddit for this win was beautiful to see (in addition to the education of folks who didn't understand that a disabled person can have a job.)


8. A woman who died at age 97 had her fudge recipe engraved on her tombstone.

There are people who take their secret recipes to their graves, and then there's Kathryn Andrews, who had her fudge recipe engraved on hers. "She really loved people," her family said. "She would take fudge whenever people got together." Gonna have to try out this recipe now! (Read the whole story here.)

via Find a Grave


9. Donkey recognizes the girl who raised it and holy moly the reunion is beautiful.

Who says animals don't have memories or emotions? Watch this donkey snuggle up to the girl who raised it and try not to smile. (Sound up.)

10. Microscopic image shows that grass is always happy to see us.

Okay, so they're actually "vascular bundles" that look like they're smiling at us, but still. How fun is this? The image originally came from naturalist Phil Gates, who shares wonders of the microscopic world on his blog "Beyond the Human Eye," and was shared by computational biologist Dr. Bethany Nichols on Twitter. Amazing.

As we work on our individual and collective challenges, let's also remember to celebrate the best of humanity wherever we see it. Joy is energizing, and the more we focus on what's good in the world, the more vitality and strength we'll have to confront the problems that need fixing to make it a better place for everyone.

via Cathy Pedrayes / Instagram

Sometimes the most innocuous question can give a predator all the information they need to stalk, harass, or assault a woman. That's why Instagram's "safety queen" Cathy Pedrayes has made a series of videos showing women the best times to lie to a stranger.

We've all been raised to tell the truth, but when it comes to being safe there's no reason we should feel compelled to give out personal information to a random stranger. Pedrayes' videos do a great job at not only showing women when to lie and but how to feel comfortable doing so.

Pedrayes originally started making videos about philosophy and being a "mom friend," but soon fell into making clips centered around safety because of her unique background.

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