+
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.

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 11.12.17

Nothing can ruin a relaxing weekend or holiday like an email from the office. Even if there's no need to take action until Monday, the unwanted intrusion of professional life can really suck the joy out of a Sunday afternoon barbecue.

That's why the country that's famous for giving its employees 30 days off a year and 16 weeks of full-paid family leave in May 2016 made itself even cooler with its new "right to disconnect" rule.

Keep ReadingShow less

Golden retriever has cutest reaction to sister walking.

Here at Upworthy we look for stories that will make you smile and warm your heart and, let’s face it, we could all use a little help in the smile department these days. When we ran across this ridiculously sweet story on The Dodo about a golden retriever and his little human sister, we simply had to share it with you. Taco is a 3-year-old golden retriever who has been lovingly waiting for his new baby sister, Vanora, to be able to play with him, and the day has finally come.

Keep ReadingShow less