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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

good news uplifting heartwarming joy

Upworthy's weekly roundup of delights from around the internet.

Hi there, happy, hopeful, helpful, heartwarming humans! And hello hurt, heartbroken humans who are handling helpless and hopeless feelings as well.

Here we are all together on this tiny rock floating through the vastness of space. Most of us are trying to figure out how to use our fleeting time on Earth to make this place a little bit better, while simultaneously being bewildered by those who insist on destruction and chaos.

It can be so easy to let our spirits get bogged down by it all, especially when narcissistic dictators suck all the air out of the room. But no matter what, there are always beacons of light we can turn to for hope—people doing things large and small to better the lives of those around them.

And in moments when those beacons of light and hope are hard to find? Well, we always have silly dog videos to fall back on for a momentary reprieve. What a time to be alive.


As we engage with the push and pull of the positive and the negative, the uplifting and the disheartening, the integration and the disintegration happening in the world, let's always make sure we're making room for joy. We've seen time and again how important moments of beauty and simple pleasures are, even for people hiding out in war zones. These are things that not only help us get through whatever we're going through, but they bring us together around our shared humanity as well.

These weekly roundups of delights from around the internet may not be life-changing, but hopefully, they can help uplift and inspire us all to see the good around us and to make our own little slice of the world, wherever we are, a little better.

A hotline where you can get life advice from kindergarteners? Yes, please. 

The kindergarteners know where it's at and their pure, wholesome wisdom will definitely make you smile. With the "Peptoc" hotline (named for the way the teacher's 6-year-old son spelled "peptalk") students of the Bay Area's West Side Elementary school are making people smile with their words of encouragement. Read the full story here.

You don't have to like basketball to smile at this incredible ending.

I don't even follow college basketball, but this video definitely made me smile. The Wildcats, who haven't won a conference championship in 40 years, were the underdogs coming in. At one point they were down by 15 points to No. 1 ranked South Carolina, then pulled this out in the end. Amazing coaching and great teamwork.

Forager Alexis Nikole making wisteria syrup is just pure delight.

@alexisnikole

WISTERIA SYRUP 💜💗 #wisteria

All of Alexis Nikole's foraging videos are delightful, but this week she was in Los Angeles and brought home some fresh wisteria blossoms to make syrup. She shares hilarious, educational videos about foraging on her TikTok channel and is definitely worth a follow. Learn more about her here.

Dogs rushing out to play—but wait for the crash at the end.

I mean, watching the dogs run with the epic music is fun in and of itself. But the slo-mo crash is too hilarious (assuming the doggo is okay—I imagine it looked more dramatic than it actually was).

More and more people's loved ones who've passed are being taken out for "one last wave."

The One Last Wave Project was begun by surfer Dan Fischer as a kind deed for people who have lost loved ones who loved the ocean. He offered to write the loved ones' names on his surfboard to take the out for "one last wave," and the response was so great, he now has multiple boards with thousands of names of people who have passed. Learn more about how the project originated and grew here.

This dog's reaction to a lemon slice is hilarious.

So. Much. Drama. The growl. The head toss.The flopping back in disgust. Silly doggo.

Mom shares her son's love of his 'big hair.'

Scroll through to see how excited and proud this kiddo was on his first day of preschool. Love to see hair love.

On a similar note, check out this heartwarming note from a daughter to her mom.

Imagine if all kids grew up with such positive feelings about how they look. What a gift.

A beautiful moment of reconnection in a coffee shop. (Yay for healthcare workers.)

Imagine running into the doctor who helped save your life while you're out getting coffee. Imagine being a doctor, running into the person whose life you helped save and seeing them thriving. Imagine being someone in that coffee shop witnessing that reunion. Just beautiful, all around.

Our moments of connection don't have to be that life-altering to have an impact, though. Even giving a stranger a compliment or going out of our way to make someone's day in some way can make more of a difference than we know. We can all share a smile. Pass along some encouragement. Be the reason someone feels a bit lighter and brighter today.

Hope this week's list brought you some joy! Join us again next week for more.

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.

Teresa Kaye Newman thinks that Boomer parents were right about a few things.

Teresa Kaye Newman, a teacher about to have a son, knows a lot about how to deal with children. So she created a list of 11 things she agrees with Boomers on when it comes to raising kids.

Newman believes she has credibility on the issue because she has 13 years of experience dealing with “hundreds and hundreds” of other people’s kids and has seen what happens when her so-called “Boomer” parenting principles aren’t implemented.

Of course, Newman is using some broad stereotypes in calling for a return to Boomer parenting ideas when many Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z parents share the same values. But, as someone who deals with children every day, she has the right to point out that today’s kids are entitled and spend too much time staring at screens.

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Leila Danai doesn't need you to approve of her hair.

A video of a preschool-age girl is capturing hearts because of the incredibly confident way she responded to a boy who didn’t like her hair. Leila Danai, who was 3 and a half when the video was taken, is one of the only Black children in her school, and her mother, Mildred Munjanganja, prepared her for comments people might make about her hair.

In the video, Leila tells her mother that a boy in school said he didn’t like her hair, "I said, 'I like it!'" she responded. “He said, ‘I don’t like that hair — it’s crazy.’ And I said, ‘My mommy made it. And if you don’t like it, I’ll keep it for myself,” she continued.

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Pop Culture

UPS driver shares his weekly paycheck, and now everyone wants to apply

People are shocked to find out how much delivery drivers make.

@skylerleestutzman/TikTok

People were shocked to find out how much Skyler Stutzman earned as a UPS driver

People are seriously considering switching careers after finding out how much can be made as a UPS delivery driver.

Back in October, Skyler Stutzman, an Oregon-based UPS delivery driver went viral after sharing his weekly pay stub on TikTok.

In the clip, Stutzman showed that for 42 hours of work, and at a pay rate of $44.26 per hour, he earned $2,004 before taxes, and ultimately took home $1,300 after deductions.

This both shocked the nearly 12 million viewers who saw the video…not to mention it stirred their jealousy a bit.

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Saturday Night Live's fake Macy's ad is all too real for parents.

The holidays are supposed to be a magical and cozy time of joy and togetherness, when families gather for annual Christmas card photos and dress up for holiday events, with everything feeling merry and bright…right?

Tell that to parents trying to wrangle their little cherubs into scratchy sweaters, uncomfortable dress pants and inexplicably difficult-to-put-on snow boots.

The ideal vs. the reality of the holiday season is the premise of an Saturday Night Live spoof ad that aired in 2019 and is making the rounds on social media. It starts as a normal Macy's holiday sale commercial would—seriously merry and bright—then devolves into a hilarious representation of the behind-the-scenes reality parents deal with every year.

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Family

Gen X mom shares the revelations she got after her son gave her an ultimatum

If she didn't go to therapy, they would have no contact.

@fiftiesrediscovery/TikTok

One Gen X shares some amazing revelations she had in therapy

Not that long ago, the thought of adult children choosing estrangement from their parents would have been seen as fairly atypical, even if their parents engaged in toxic behavior. But now, many trauma-informed millennials and Gen Zers are going the low-to-no-contact route—as many as 25% of young adults, according to The Hill.

But even if it is becoming more common, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy choice to make. It often comes after multiple failed attempts to improve communication, set healthy boundaries and establish a healthy dynamic.

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via Taylor Skaff/Unsplash and Kenny Eliason/Unsplash

A Chevy Tahoe for $1? Not a bad deal at all.

The race to weave artificial intelligence into every aspect of our lives is on, and there are bound to be some hits and misses with the new technology, especially when some artificial intelligence apps are easily manipulated through a series of simple prompts.

A car dealership in Watsonville, California, just south of the Bay Area, added a chatbot to its website and learned the hard way that it should have done a bit more Q-A testing before launch.

It all started when Chris White, a musician and software engineer, went online to start looking for a new car. "I was looking at some Bolts on the Watsonville Chevy site, their little chat window came up, and I saw it was 'powered by ChatGPT,'" White told Business Insider.

ChatGPT is an AI language model that generates human-like text responses for diverse tasks, conversations and assistance. So, as a software engineer, he checked the chatbot’s limits to see how far he could get.

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