+
uplifting, happy, joy

Need a reason to smile? Here are 10 of them.

Holy moly, it's already almost Christmas, which means it's already almost 2022, which means we're heading into our third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. That's … I don't know, but it's something.

It's easy to get bogged down in the sucky parts of pandemic life, but as we reflect on this year, there's a lot to be grateful for. For instance, it was announced that malaria was officially eliminated in China in June, Europe sold more electric vehicles than diesel for the first time ever in August and we found out that cheese isn't actually bad for us in February (seriously, science says).


As always, we can find reasons to smile—we just need to know where to look. And right now, you can look straight down this page to find 10 delightful things to bring joy to your heart and a smile to your face as you head into the holiday.

Never thought about how many birds are in the 12 days of Christmas song. LOL.

Six geese a-laying, no less. So, in protective mama mode. Not exactly the best gift, to be honest.

Seriously, though, what is with all the birds in that song? Is that all people had to give in the olden days?

Ms. Fitz makes a wicked 3-point shot on the playground and the kids go wild. 

She did promise them hot cocoa if she made the shot, but knowing how much kids love teachers like this, I'm sure their reaction was much more about celebrating her awesome skills. Go, Ms. Fitz, go!

Watching dogs pick out their presents on Santa Paws Day is too much joy to handle. 

Come on now. Is this the best or what?

This baby blissing out on her first bite of pizza is all of us. 

@oh_shoot_girl

Same girl, same. 🍕 #firstbite #fyp #pizzababy

We've all been to pizza heaven, little one. And yep, it's just like that.

This dog races a human on a sled and goes soooo hard. 

@chuckledaily

#fyp #funny #dogs #dogsvideo #dogsofttiktok #funnyvideos

This is a serious race, folks. Look how he speeds up as the sled starts to overtake him! Amazing.

Halftime dancer lives a 20-second nightmare, which then becomes a dream come true.

She got so lost! The vicarious embarrassment was too real! But then it turned into such a sweet moment and all of that anxiety vanished. Phew! Read the full story here.

Soon-to-be-uncle thinks the baby onesie is a gift for the cat, totally missing the hint. 

This would be an adorable reaction even if the onesie were for the cat. The fact that he doesn't catch that there's a baby on the way just adds a layer of hilarity to it.

Baby elephants can't control their trunks and it is hilarioussssss.

It's true. They start gaining some control around 6 to 8 months, but don't gain full control until about year. Learn more and watch other baby elephants trying to figure out that long, dangly thing on their faces here.

Speaking of elephants … watch (and listen to) these gorgeous giants come running when their caretaker calls.

Definitely want the sound on for this one. (This video comes from the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, where elephants are rescued from abusive elephant tourism and rehabilitated with plenty of space to roam.)

Uber driver left her full-time job to become a caregiver for her 88-year-old passenger.

Jenni Tekletsion first picked up Paul Webb for an Uber ride in March 2020. The two got to talking and she realized how lonely he was. They enjoyed one another's company and began sharing a meal together each day. As Webb's health began to decline, Tekletsion graciously took on the role of caregiver for him. Read the full story here.

Hope that brought some light and happiness to your day! Have a lovely holiday weekend!

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

Honorees, speakers and guests on stage at We the Peoples

True

Some people say that while change is inevitable, progress is a choice. In other words, it’s a purposeful act—like when American media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner established the United Nations Foundation 25 years ago.

Keep ReadingShow less

Fox was granted the award for his contributions to Parkinson's disease research through his foundation.

Following his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease back in the early '90s, beloved “Back to the Future” star Michael J. Fox became an unwavering advocate for others living with the condition. His Michael J. Fox Foundation, founded in 2000, has become the leading provider of funds for Parkinson's research in the world. A large chunk of that research goes into investigating potential cures for the disease.

His contributions to Parkinson's research were highlighted at the 13th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, Nov. 19, in Los Angeles as a recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which honors individuals "whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”

As the now-retired actor took to the stage to accept his honorary Oscar, he delivered a speech full of emotion, grace and a sense of humor that shoots straight to the heart.

Keep ReadingShow less
True

Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo from Pixabay

Courage and coming forward after a sexual assault

This article originally appeared on 10.12.17


"Why didn't she say anything sooner?"

It's the question that frustrates sexual assault prevention advocates and discredits the victims who bravely come forward after they've been targeted.

Stars Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow — who both disclosed to The New York Times they'd been sexually harassed by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein years ago — are among the latest women now having to trudge through a predictable wave of victim-blaming following their disclosures.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo pulled from video

Texas dad giving heartfelt speech.

This article originally appeared on 07.06.17


A baseball cap on his head, his hands tucked snugly in his front blue jean pockets, Ken Ballard stood in front of a room of onlookers, admittedly a little out of his element.

But the issue at hand was so critical, Ballard said, he couldn't keep quiet.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo pulled from YouTube video

Animated short about closeted love.

This article originally appeared on 07.31.17


After much breathless waiting and anticipation, the animated kids short "In a Heartbeat" was finally released on July 31, 2017.


The four-minute short film — which follows a closeted boy as he "runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams" — has captivated certain corners of the internet since its trailer was released in May and instantly went viral.

Keep ReadingShow less