10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy and delight from around the internet.

It can be easy to poo-poo positivity when the world feels like a giant flaming trash bin. And it's true that "toxic" brands of positivity that admonish people to simply put a smile on their face instead of empathizing or addressing the causes and effects of suffering are b.s.

But that doesn't mean we can't look for happiness in hard times. Finding delight in small things can be a lifeline when times are tough, and our ability to wield beauty and joy to spite the darkness is part of what makes humankind so amazing.

Sometimes we struggle to find solutions to problems, sometimes we have to fight against despair and sometimes we just put one foot in front of the other to make it through the day. But we never know what little thing might spark something in our spirit, giving us just enough energy or hope to keep up our good work in this world.

Not that a hilarious dog dancing video is going to be life-changing, but if we allow ourselves to take a cleansing plunge into wholesome delight once in a while, we might emerge feeling more refreshed and ready for whatever it is we have to face.


And so we present this pool of 10 things that made us smile this week for us all to dive into. Enjoy.

The beauty and solidarity of music transcends borders.

Top violinists around the world joined Illia Bondarenko and other Ukrainian violinists who are hiding out in shelters in playing a Ukrainian folk song. It's a gorgeously haunting show of solidarity, reminding us of the humanity that connects us all. Read the full story here.

This 13-year-old with his heart-melting attempt to do something special for his mom. 

[Gulp.] Be right back, grabbing a tissue.

Gonna watch this doggo dancing just a dozen or so more times.

@carliecrom

🖤🤍🤎 #dog #dogsoftiktok

"Shake, shake, shake, senora!." Go, doggy, go.

Kitten thinks he's a rabbit. Seriously. Adorable.

I wrote an article this week about why rabbits make the best indoor pets, but kittens are right up there. Combining the two? Priceless.

So many jokes about Tom Brady returning to football after getting a taste of full-time parenting.

When legendary quarterback Tom Brady announced that he was unretiring from the NFL a mere 40 days after he retired, the jokes started flying. He seems like a great dad, but the idea that he'd prefer to be pummeled by 300-pound linemen to coordinating kid activities was too much for the people of the internet to resist. The five-hour dance rehearsal is spot on.

This kid knows how to create a calm reading environment. 

And kudos to his teacher for encouraging him. This kid will definitely be going places.

Speaking of kids going places, gotta love seeing a dream come true in real time.

Congratulations, Lynnea!

Quokkas are always good for a smile, but this one enjoying a beet is just beyond.

Along with Hugh Jackman, the naturally smiley quokka is one of the greatest gifts Australia has given the world.

Because I can never get enough of pandas being playful…

Seriously, pandas are just little kids in bear suits. It's the only explanation.

And if none of that did it for you, feel free to join forces with this entirely unimpressed new human.

We feel you, little one. It'll get better, we promise. Or at least hope. We're working on it.

Hope that washed away some of the muck and mire. Come back next for another cleansing plunge into small delights.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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