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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.

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Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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