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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

This week's roundup of joy and delight.

joy, good news

Upworthy's weekly collection of happiness.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that the "10 things that made us smile" list was too full of awesome people doing awesome things that week to include any delightful animals. That was great news for us humans, but still a sad omission, so I did promise to bring the doggos back.

I'm happy to announce the doggos are indeed back. And the kitties. And the birdies. Even some goats and a lemur, for good measure.

There's a lot happening in the U.S. and around the world right now that deserves our attention and energy and even our righteous anger. But there's also a lot to delight in and celebrate. Small joys help sustain us through hard times, and a story or video that makes us smile can be just the moment of peace our hearts need.


Whether it's a cute kid or a hilarious pet or an amazing human representing the best of us, reminders of hope and happiness can be found everywhere. Here are 10 of them to help carry you through the weekend.

1. This woman who goes back to help an elder cross the street in the rain.

I love that she had been waiting under an awning and started rushing across the street, trying not to get wet, and then when the realization dawned on her, she immediately went back and took her time to help the old woman cross the street safely. Beautiful example of selfless service to a fellow human being.

2. Why can't we all just sit and hold hands with lemur on a bench?

I have zero idea what's happening here or why, but it's adorable.

3. Uncle kills it with his niece in the father-daughter dance.

Here's to those who show up and step up when they're needed.

4. Mom shares the heartwarming results of positive parenting with her toddlers.

@lauralove5514

Gentle parenting doesnt always yeild immediate reaulya because it is nog fear based BUT if you are consistent, you WILL see them actively use what they learn ♥️ Be patient! #fyp #foryou #toddlermom #parenting #gentleparenting #breakingthecycle #positivediscipline #respectfulparenting #viral

"'Scuse me, I need some attention." I know a lot of adults who should have learned to express that with their words. Good job, mama. (Follow @lauralove5514 on TikTok.)

5. Cairo the parrot uses his words to express his displeasure with the cat invading his space.

@feathersandfriends

Cairo’s house is a no-cat zone! #parrots #cairothegrey #africangrey #parrotsoftiktok

Cairo isn't messing around. "Stop being a gerbil." "Smarten up, man." And that finger-snapping sound! Cairo is too smart.

6. Paul Rudd made an incredibly kind gesture to a bullied kid who had no one to sign his yearbook

When Brody's mom shared that her son came home crushed that no one wanted to sign his yearbook, her plea for kindness went viral. Paul Rudd saw it and called Brody to talk to him. Then he sent him some Ant-Man gear and a sweet note of encouragement. Definitely a kindness this kiddo will never forget. Read the full story here.

7. Lost baby goat gets reunited with its mama, and you 100% want the sound up for this.

Awwwww.

8. Heroic teen saved three girls and a police officer from drowning in a river.

Corion Evans deserves all the kudos for his quick thinking and selfless bravery. Read the full story here.

9. This 1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is just too delightful.

Robin Williams was such a gem.

10. The way this kitty instantly plays it cool after being discovered.

"Who me? I'm just here checking the wall. Yeah, the wall. That's it."

BONUS: May your weekend be as exciting as this doggo seeing his friend.

Hope that made you smile! Come back again next Friday for another roundup of joy.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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via Pexels

A couple celebrates while packing their home.

One of the topics that we like to highlight on Upworthy is people who are redefining what it means to be in a relationship. Recently, we’ve shared the stories of platonic life partners, moms who work together as part of a “mommune” and a polyamorous family with four equally-committed parents.

A growing number of people are reevaluating traditional relationships and entering lifestyles that work for them instead of trying to fit into preexisting roles. It makes sense because the more lifestyle options that are available, the greater chance we have to be happy.

A recent trend in unconventional relationships is married couples "living apart together," or LATs as they are known among mental health professionals.

Actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and producer Brad Falchuk, and photographer Annie Leibovitz and activist Susan Sontag are all high-profile couples who’ve embraced the LAT lifestyle.

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Family

Professional tidier Marie Kondo says she's 'kind of given up' after having three kids

Hearing Kondo say, 'My home is messy,' is sparking joy for moms everywhere.

Marie Kondo playing with her daughters.

Marie Kondo's book, "The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up," has repeatedly made huge waves around the world since it came out in 2010. From eliminating anything that didn't "spark joy" from your house to folding clothes into tiny rectangles and storing them vertically, the KonMari method of maintaining an organized home hit the mark for millions of people. The success of her book even led to two Netflix series.

It also sparked backlash from parents who insisted that keeping a tidy home with children was not so simple. It's one thing to get rid of an old sweater that no longer brings you joy. It's entirely another to toss an old, empty cereal box that sparks zero joy for you, but that your 2-year-old is inexplicably attached to.

To be fair, Kondo never forced her way into anyone's home and made them organize it her way. But also to be fair, she didn't have kids when she wrote her best-selling book on keeping a tidy home. The reality is that keeping a home organized and tidy with children living in it is a whole other ballgame, as Kondo has discovered now that she has three kids of her own.

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Pop Culture

YouTube star MrBeast sponsors 1,000 people's cataract surgery to help them see again

"I had never heard of MrBeast so I almost hung up. But gratefully did not hang up."

YouTube star sponsors 1,000 people's cataract surgery

Blindness touches people's lives around the world and YouTube star Jimmy Donaldson, more popularly known as MrBeast, is trying to do something about it. Donaldson made it his mission to help 1,000 people regain their eyesight with the help of Dr. Jeff Levenson, an ophthalmologist and surgeon in Jacksonville, Florida.

Levenson has been operating a program called "Gift of Sight" for over 20 years. The program provides free cataract surgery to uninsured people who are legally blind for free, so long as they meet certain criteria. Levenson had never heard of Donaldson, and he almost hung up on him when the YouTube star called to ask about a partnership.

"I had never heard of MrBeast so I almost hung up. But gratefully did not hang up," Levenson told CNN.

After figuring out that Donaldson was indeed a real person who wanted to help others, the duo called around the Jacksonville area to determine the people who needed help the most. They got their list of clients from free clinics and homeless shelters, which covered the United States portion of the surgeries.

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A mom makes sensory sand by putting Cheerios in a blender.

A parenting influencer who goes by the name @ellethevirgo on TikTok has shared a brilliant hack that can turn a simple box of Cheerios into a fun sensory sand experience. The great part is that the sand is edible, so you don’t have to worry if your child puts some in their mouth, which they will inevitably do.

The recipe for Cheerios sensory sand is pretty simple:

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Gaël Monfils makes tennis a must-see.

Tennis isn't always the most entertaining sport to watch, especially if you're not particularly interested in seeing a ball get slapped across a net at 1,000,000 mph approximately 17,000 times. You could probably get whiplash or eye strain if you focused too hard on it. While some people love the sport, others need a little more than grunts and sneaker sounds to capture their attention.

If you're in the group of people who need to be entertained, look no further than Gaël Monfils, a professional French tennis player that has earned the nickname, "The Entertainer." Monfils turned pro in 2004 and has multiple championship matches under his belt, and yet he still takes the time to be...extra while playing.

In a compilation video uploaded to TikTok, we see the 36-year-old tennis player dancing after hitting the ball across the net just out of his opponent's reach. But of course, he also doesn't hit the ball like your average player, either. In one part of the video, Monfils jumps up extremely high and bicycle kicks as he hits the ball with his tongue hanging out of his mouth.

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