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10 things that made us smile this week

As we digest this week's heavy news, it's vital that we all balance our media consumption with uplifting and inspiring content. Doom-scrolling is a quick way to slip into despair, so we're here to offer some joy-scrolling to lift your spirit.

Here are 10 things that can help bring a smile to your face as you wrap up your week:

1. A photographer captured the innocent joy of an Afghan girl skipping across the tarmac after landing safely in Belgium

It's hard to find uplifting news surrounding the tragic events in Afghanistan, but this Reuters image of an Afghan girl skipping across the tarmac with her family after being evacuated to Belgium offers a glimpse of hope and a reminder of what freedom means to those who are fleeing Taliban rule. A little beam of light in the darkness.

2. This martial arts instructor took forgiveness to a whole new level after kids broke his studio window.

"To the kids that threw the rock at my window & shattered it, I was a wild kid too, and I forgive you," they wrote in a note. "If you want to learn how to channel your anger, I will train you for FREE. I will help you." Signed, Warrior Poet.

Warrior Poet indeed. What a beautiful example of the best of humanity.


3. Elementary teacher perfectly illustrates fairness in a simple lesson using Band-aids.

Good teachers are treasures, and Ms. Aimee here proves herself priceless as she explains how she teaches her third-grade students about what fairness really means. Fairness doesn't mean everyone gets the same thing, but rather everyone gets what they need to be successful. Simply brilliant. Read the full story here.

4. Speaking of great teachers, Mr. Monroe and his therapy dog, Nala, are lighting up TikTok with empathy demonstrations.

Josh Monroe is winning hearts all over the internet with his TikTok videos showing how he empathizes with students who are struggling. He also shares how he utilizes Nala, his therapy dog, in the classroom. This guy will restore your faith in humanity in an instant. Read the full story here.


5. Isaac Kearney might just be the best lip synch artist you've ever seen.

I have no idea if this kiddo can actually sing or not, but his lip-synch performances are off the hook. So much passion and emotion in such a tiny package. I could watch him all day.

Here he is with a little Whitney:

And some epic Phill Collins:

6. This bird actually can sing and pianist Kevon Carter adding some accompaniment to it is just sheer delight.

It's the little head shake with the eyes closed for me. "Yeeeeahhhh....Yeeeeahhhhh" Unreal, but so fun.


7. 11-year-old drummer Nandi Bushell finally got to perform live with Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters.

Nandi Bushell is a drum prodigy (for real) and she became internet famous during the pandemic for her drum challenges with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl. That story is amazing on its own, but seeing Bushell's dream come true in front of a whole stadium is something else. Look at this joy (and talent—holy moly).

8. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson surprised a tour group in his neighborhood and I'm not sure who got more joy out of it.

The Rock is beloved for being one of those celebrities who genuinely seems like a good guy. Watching him casually roll up next to a tour bus and give fans the surprise of their lives is just some good, wholesome fun. Read the full story here.

9. Speaking of wholesome fun, this great aunt giving Australian football a go is definitely smile-worthy.

We all have that cool older relative who's up for anything. Great Aunty Judy's laughter is contagious, and her slipper flying off during her kick attempt is just the icing on the cake.

10. Want to see sheer, unadulterated joy? Watch Walter the Golden Lab book it down to the ocean in Sicily.

It's me. I am Walter. This is pretty much exactly what I would do if someone let me loose on a beautiful Mediterranean island, ears flapping and all. Wait for the unhesitant leap and plunge at the end.

BONUS: You want the SOUND UP on this one, I promise.

I shared this video in last week's round-up, but I figured it's worth sharing again because I've watched it approximately 85 more times since then. Can't stop, won't stop. Not even sorry.

Keep seeking joy and finding reasons to smile, everyone.

All photos courtesy of Albertsons
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