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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.

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

True

Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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If the world isn't ending, how does that impact the choices we make?

Is the world ending? For real this time?

It might certainly seem that way, considering constant political upheaval, relentless environmental distress and a general perceived failing of the human race. As it turns out, this is not a new way of thinking. It may very well be as old as civilization itself.

And perhaps more importantly, it might be the exact piece of false logic keeping us from making crucial decisions that can shape our future … the very, very, very far distant future.

Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell, a YouTube channel that uses animation to “explain things with optimistic nihilism,” explores this existential quandary in a video titled “The Last Human – A Glimpse Into the Far Future.”

The video begins with a not-so-simple question: When will the last human be born and how many people will there ever be?
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Ring footage shows Adrian Rodriguez returning a lost purse.

At Upworthy, we are always looking to share the best of humanity and there are few things that reveal someone’s good character quite like when they do good when no one is watching. A recent story from Chula Vista, California, celebrates a teenager who went out of his way to return a woman’s lost purse.

According to NBC News San Diego, Eliana Martin was shopping at Ralph’s supermarket when she accidentally left her purse in a shopping cart in the parking lot. After she left the store, she realized she had lost her purse and began frantically canceling her credit cards.

Shortly after Martin left the parking lot, a recent high school graduate, Adrian Rodriquez, 17, found her purse in the cart. Rodriguez searched the purse to look for an identification card to find where she lived so he could return it to her. He then drove over to the address on the identification card, where Melina Marquez, Martin's former roommate, currently lives.

Marquez wasn’t home so Rodriguez left the purse with a relative. Marquez later saw video of the drop-off on the family’s Ring doorbell camera.

“I looked into the Ring camera, and I was like, ‘Oh my God. He’s such a young kid.’ I was like, ‘We need to find him and just give him a little piece of gratitude.’” Marquez told NBC San Diego.

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