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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

From awesome kiddos to delightful doggos, here's this week's roundup of joy.

10 things that made us smile this week

10 snippets of delight from around the internet.

Hi friends!

Spring is finally springing, thank goodness. We've had some weirdly late wintry weather the past couple of weeks where I live, so seeing the daffodils and tulips bursting into bloom is refreshing. "Earth laughs in flowers," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. So succinct and so true.

Every season carries its own delights; we simply need to look for them. The same goes for all of the spaces we inhabit, from our homes to our communities to the big wide, world. It's a basic, fundamental truth that when we look for joy, we will find it. It might be buried under a bunch of detritus, and we may have to wade through some much and mire to find it, but it's there. Always is and always has been.


Pulling together these smile-worthy finds each week feels like gathering a bouquet of flowers. Such a simple act—to find beauty and take the time to hold and appreciate it—is often underestimated. Maybe it's not earth-shattering or life-changing, but it's good. And sometimes good is more than enough to bring some much-needed joy to our hearts and smiles to our faces.

With that, enjoy these 10 things that made us smile this week:

First, a happy hello from Boomer the "land cloud." 

Isn't "land cloud" the perfect description of this doggo? (And more importantly, how did they get Boomer into that backpack?)

Four cellists play Ravel's Bolero on a single cello and WOW.

"Bolero" is known for its insistent, repeated snare drum rhythm and for building tension with the addition of more and more instruments in the orchestra as the piece progresses. Playing it on one instrument seems impossible, and yet, here we are. Amazing. Read more about this fabulous collaboration here.

Man shares a heartwarming letter thanking a neighbor for letting him pet sit two dogs and a cat. 

"They motivated me to restart my life again." So beautiful. Read the full story here.

The evolution of motherhood laid out in this one panda video.

1.) Awww, she's so gentle with that tiny baby!

2) Oh, she's still picking him up by his head!

3) "Mom, I'm way too old for this!"

The personality of a cat summed up in one video.

"I know this is clearly where you eat, but I've decided it's my bed now and I'm not moving."

Watch how this sweet doggo shares his treat with a friend.

That little reassuring paw pat, though. "Hey buddy, you good." So darn sweet.

And then there are the goofy things humans do for fun.

Movies like to portray girls at sleepovers having pillow fights in their underwear, but this video is much closer to reality.

Woman gets invited on a sleepover by her 92-year-old grandpa who was feeling lonely.

Welp, I'm gonna need a tissue now. What a precious thing. Read the full story here.

Neighborhood kids teaching a boy how to ride a bike is just pure childhood goodness.

@heressometlcfoya

This made my heart melt. ❤️

This is what community looks like. Love to see it.

Kid comforts and peps up his teammate who was feeling inadequate.

Best teammate ever, indeed.

Hope that brought some sunshine to your day! Come back next week for another bright bouquet of the internet's best.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics




116 years ago, the Pasterze glacier in the Austria's Eastern Alps was postcard perfect:

Snowy peaks. Windswept valleys. Ruddy-cheeked mountain children in lederhosen playing "Edelweiss" on the flugelhorn.

But a lot has changed since 1900.

Much of it has changed for the better! We've eradicated smallpox, Hitler is dead, and the song "Billie Jean" exists now.

On the downside, the Earth has gotten a lot hotter. A lot hotter.

The 15 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. July 2016 was the planet's hottest month — ever.

Unsurprisingly, man-made climate change has wreaked havoc on the planet's glaciers — including the Pasterze, which is Austria's largest.

Just how much havoc are we talking about? Well...


A series of stunning photos, published in August, show just how far the glacier has receded since its heyday.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

First measured in 1851, the glacier lost half of its mass between that year and 2008.

The glacier today.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

A marker placed in 1985 shows where the edge of the glacier reached just 31 years ago. You can still see the ice sheet, but just barely, way off in the distance. In between is ... a big, muddy lake.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

The view from the glacial foot marker from 1995 — 10 years later — isn't much more encouraging.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Even in just one year, 2015, the glacier lost an astounding amount of mass — 177 feet, by some estimates.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Ice continues to melt daily, and while the dripping makes for a good photo, it's unfortunate news for planet Earth. Glacial melting is one of the three primary causes of sea-level rise.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

According to a European Environment Agency report, the average temperature in the Alps has increased 2 degrees Celsius in the last 100 years — double the global average.

Beautiful, but ominous, fissures in the glacier.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

It's not unreasonable to assume that that's why this mountain hut has been abandoned by the flugelhorn-playing children who once probably lived in it.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Is there anything we can do to stop climate change besides look at scary glacier photos?

Climate change is, unfortunately, still a robust debate in the United States as many of our elected officials refuse to acknowledge that we humans are the ones doing the changing. As of last year, that list included a whopping 49 senators. Calling them to gently persuade them otherwise would be helpful. Not voting for them if they don't change their minds would be even more so.

There is some tentative good news — the Paris Agreement signed in December 2015 commits 197 countries, including the U.S., to take steps to limit future global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. While it may be too late for the Pasterze glacier, if we really commit as a world, we might be able to stop ourselves from sinking whole countries and turning Miami into a swimming pool and stuff like that.

And who knows, with a little luck, and a little more not poisoning the sky, we just might recapture a little of that Alpine magic one day.

OK, these guys are Swiss. But who's counting?

Photo by Cristo Vlahos/Wikimedia Commons.

This article originally appeared on 3.11.17

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Health

Artists got fed up with these 'anti-homeless spikes.' So they made them a bit more ... comfy.

"Our moral compass is skewed if we think things like this are acceptable."

Photo courtesy of CC BY-ND, Immo Klink and Marco Godoy

Spikes line the concrete to prevent sleeping.


These are called "anti-homeless spikes." They're about as friendly as they sound.

As you may have guessed, they're intended to deter people who are homeless from sitting or sleeping on that concrete step. And yeah, they're pretty awful.

The spikes are a prime example of how cities design spaces to keep homeless people away.


Not all concrete steps have spikes on them, but outdoor seating in cities like Montreal and Tokyo have been sneakily designed to prevent people from resting too comfortably for too long.

This guy sawing through a bench was part of a 2006 protest in Toulouse, France, where public seating intentionally included armrests to prevent people from lying down.

Of course, these designs do nothing to fight the cause or problem of homelessness. They're just a way of saying to homeless people, "Go somewhere else. We don't want to look at you,"basically.

One particular set of spikes was outside a former night club in London. And a local group got sick of staring at them.

Leah Borromeo is part of the art collective "Space, Not Spikes" — a group that's fed up with what she describes as "hostile architecture."

"Spikes do nothing more than shoo the realities of poverty and inequality away from your backyard — so you don't have to see it or confront what you can do to make things more equal," Borromeo told Upworthy. "And that is really selfish."

"Our moral compass is skewed if we think things like this are acceptable."

charity, social consciousness, artist

A bed covers up spikes on the concrete.

assets.rebelmouse.io

The move by Space, Not Spikes has caused quite a stir in London and around the world. The simple but impactful idea even garnered support from music artist Ellie Goulding.

"That was amazing, wasn't it?" Borromeo said of Goulding's shout-out on Instagram.

books, philanthropy, capitalism

Artist's puppy books and home comforts.

assets.rebelmouse.io

"[The project has] definitely touched a nerve and I think it is because, as a whole, humans will still look out for each other," Borromeo told Upworthy. "Capitalism and greed conditions us to look out for ourselves and negate the welfare of others, but ultimately, I think we're actually really kind."

"We need to call out injustice and hypocrisy when we see it."
anti-homeless laws, legislation, panhandling

A message to offer support in contrast with current anti-homeless laws.

assets.rebelmouse.io

These spikes may be in London, but the U.S. definitely has its fair share of anti-homeless sentiment, too.

Spikes are pretty obvious — they're a visual reminder of a problem many cities are trying to ignore. But what we can't see on the street is the rise of anti-homeless laws that have cropped up from sea to shining sea.

Legislation that targets homeless people — like bans on panhandling and prohibiting people from sleeping in cars — has increased significantly in recent years.

For instance, a report by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty that analyzed 187 American cities found that there's been a 43% hike in citywide bans on sitting or lying down in certain spaces since 2011.

Thankfully, groups like "Space, Not Spikes" are out there changing hearts and minds. But they need our help.

The group created a video to complement its work and Borromeo's hoping its positive underlying message will motivate people to do better.

"[The world] won't always be happy-clappy because positive social change needs constructive conflict and debate," she explained. "But we need to call out injustice and hypocrisy when we see it."

Check out their video below:

This article originally appeared on 07.24.15

Pop Culture

Younger people are admitting baby boomers got these 17 things right

"Kids shouldn't be on phones or iPads all the time. It makes them weird."

Baby boomers didn't get everything wrong.

In recent years, baby boomers have often been the target of criticism from younger generations. The most common accusations are that boomers are selfish and don’t care about leaving ample resources (whether financial or environmental) to subsequent generations.

They also come under fire for not being able to acknowledge that it was easier for people of their generation to come of age when things were more affordable and life was a lot less competitive.

However, we should also understand that many of today’s problems are not the boomers’ doing, especially when it comes to the issues that stem from entitled children and technology run amok. In hindsight, there’s something to be said about the importance that boomers placed on self-reliance, letting kids be kids and having a healthy skepticism towards technology.


In the end, each generation contributes to the tapestry of society in its unique way, whether good or bad, even baby boomers. This became evident after a Reddit user named Youssef4573 asked the AskReddit subforum: ‘What is something you can say ‘I'm with the boomers on this one’ about?” Over 4,700 people responded to the prompt, and the most prevalent problems mentioned by the younger generations were overreliance on technology, the modern world’s lack of human touch and how Gen Xers and millennials have raised their children.

Here are 17 things that younger people are “with the boomers” about.

1. Public filming

"Just because I’m in public doesn’t mean I want to be filmed. Yeah, I know legally you can, but common courtesy people." — Jayne_of_Canton

2. Customer service

"I want to talk to a person in customer service, not a machine." — lumpy_space_queenie

"And also a person that actually works at the company I bought the product from, not a teenager at an outsourced call center with a script to follow and who answers calls for 15 different companies on the same day." — Loive.

3. Turn up the dialog

"For the love of all that is holy, can we fix the audio in movies so that the music and sound FX aren’t drowning out the dialogue?" — Caloso

"And the action sequences don’t burst your eardrums or the dialogue is whispers." — Whynottry-again

4. Bring back buttons

"No, I don't need everything in my car to be electronic. Some stuff needs buttons." — LamborghiniHEAT

"This was the big thing for me in my last car - trying to adjust volume or change songs while driving is way more dangerous when it’s all touch screen. Thankfully my current car has physical knobs for everything." — GeekdomCentral

5. App overload

"Every store/service does not need an app." — BigDigger324

"I was standing at a car rental counter at an airport (boomer here) to rent a car. My daughter’s car broke down on the way to pick me up. While standing at the counter, with a customer service rep right there and not busy, I had to log in to their site, create an account, and reserve a car. It seemed ridiculous and it took a long time, filling in my license information and all that. This was last September." — Cleanslate

6. Bring back DIY

"Learning DIY skills is crucial. I had basically zero DIY skills when I bought my house because I had lived in apartments for so long and I've had to learn a lot. YouTube tutorials are absolutely clutch." — JingleJongleBongle

7. Turn off the speakerphone

"I hated this when I worked at Walmart. So many of my coworkers would talk on speaker or watch TikTok at full volume. It's just trashy imo, nobody wants to hear your media." — WhiteGuy1x

"I work at an emergency medical office and holy sh*t the amount of people that sit in a quiet, peaceful lobby and just have the LOUDEST conversations on their phone…. Speaker or otherwise. Not to mention the people that still watch sh*t without headphones. Like do you not see the plethora of other people around you that you’re disturbing?" — Cinderpuppins

8. Ban QR code menus

"I think menus should be tangible." — Limp-Management9684

"QR codes kill the vibe. We’re all on our phones constantly throughout the day and then when you go to spend some quality time with someone, it’s another excuse to whip out the phone and stare at it. There’s an intimacy to a physical menu. You’re looking at what the other person is reading, you’re each pointing to parts of the menu. You’re noticing the lighting of the restaurant. QR codes feel chintzy and kill the ambiance completely." — VapeDerp420

9. Stop subscriptions

"When I was your age, you only had to pay for a video game once to own it." — CattonCruthby

10. Free the children

"A kid in 2024 should have the same freedom to exist unsupervised and move about their community independently as a boomer did growing up." — PixelatedFish

"The world is safer than it's ever been and people are more scared than ever. I blame true crime and local news." ⲻ Unhappyhippo142

11. Kids need to touch grass

"Kids shouldn't be on phones or iPads all the time. It makes them weird." — Ubstantial_Part_952

"The same could be said about most adults." — DrunkOctopus

12. Stop being so sensitive

"People in our generation are far, far too sensitive. Don't get it twisted; empathy is, by and large, a good thing and it takes some serious doing for me to say it's gone too far. But collectively, we've become people willing to throw every last bit of energy fighting against every slight and making sure our pet cause gets top billing to the point of fighting amongst each other even if we're in almost complete agreement otherwise. Emotional energy - like any other kind of energy - is very much a finite resource. Whereas boomers could at least generally agree to disagree and get on with things (obvious cross-wielding exceptions doth apply). Culturally, we've lost sight of the adage of 'winning the battle, losing the war.'" — almighty_smiley

13. Stop delivery

"Food delivery services are a complete ripoff; if you use them regularly, you’re terrible with money. Get off my lawn." — VapeDerp420

14. Parking meters

"So rather than throwing a few coins in your meter, you have to now get your license plate #, get your meter number, go to the meter station, stand in line with everyone waiting to pay their meter, then you're set. It's an unnecessary amount of extra steps. I don't carry cash much anymore, but I can hide a small amount of coin in my car to quickly pay a meter." — Luke5119

15. Kids should know their place

"Not letting your children rule the roost. When did it become acceptable to let your kids back-talk to you, slap you, climb all over shi*t in public places? As we've raised ours, I've witnessed so many parents around us just let these behaviors slide. It's kind of sad when I'm the one saying things like, "Did I just hear you just say that to your mom?!?!?!?! That is not ok. You go and apologize right now!!". Then I get this stunned "deer in headlights" look back that tells me they aren't used to someone calling them out on their behavior." — Cobblestone-Villain

16. Pride in ownership

"Seems that a lot of boomers have pride of ownership and enjoy maintaining what they have." — Awkward_Bench123

17. Don't follow leaders

"My dad (a solid boomer) has been saying that ALL politicians are crooks since he became disenchanted with politics around the Nixon era. He was starry-eyed before that, trying to make social change, yada yada. He still votes, but holds his nose. Can’t say I disagree with him." — Thin_white_duchess


This article originally appeared on 1.23.24


Oh, society! We have such a complicated relationship with relationships.

It starts early, with the movies we are plopped in front of as toddlers.

GIF from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."

And continues through adolescence, still through entertainment.

"I'd rather die than stay away from you."

GIF from "Twilight."

And then guess what happens? We're peddled some more of what we're supposedly meant to be aiming for when we're adults.

"I was the one girl he chose from 20 other girls to be with. Now I know I'm special!" — me, mocking probably very sweet people.


GIF from "The Bachelor."


There are so many examples of this, it's difficult to narrow them down. Not to mention all the social cues coming in all stealth-bomber-like to beat one's psyche into submission. Like when single people go to weddings, their family members casually ask them, "When will YOU settle down?" And when a friend goes through a breakup, it's almost instinctive to reassure them that there's someone out there for them.

But what if not everyone is supposed to pair off? What if some people are — wait for it — happier when they're single?


It's kind of a radical notion in this culture, where pairing off is treated more as a foregone conclusion and universal life goal.

A study in 2014 from the National Bureau of Economic Research said that married people rated higher in happiness measurements than single people did.

You might have taken that study at face value.

But hold the phone! There's another recent study from University of Auckland's School of Psychology that tells a more complete story by comparing happiness levels among a very specific group of singles and marrieds.

How? Well they looked at something called "avoidance goals" and "approach goals."


What are avoidance and approach goals?

Well, what motivates each person is different. Some people are motivated by going after what their desired outcome is. Some people are more concerned with avoiding undesirable outcomes. People are often mixed bags, displaying some traits of avoidance and some traits of approach, and where they're at with it can change with other factors in life. But on the entire spectrum, some people fall on one distinct end or the other.

In the study, it held up that low-avoidance singles were a little bit less happy than low-avoidance married people. In other words, people who were more approach-goal motivated and married DO experience a bit more happiness.

But, interestingly, researchers found that singles who fall more on the high-avoidance side of the spectrum showed the same level of happiness as high-avoidance marrieds.

And theoretically, for those happy high-avoidance singles, they could very well find themselves miserable in a relationship for whatever reasons they avoid them in the first place. In individual circumstances, singlehood may be the best choice for some.

What does it all mean?

Some people love love and want to find their happily ever after. There's nothing wrong with that, and society supports that model. More power to them!

But for those of you wondering if you're weird or broken because you seem to prefer single life, there's nothing wrong with you. Don't let society pressure you into doing things their way, you magnificently beautiful lone wolf!


This article was written by Angie Aker and originally appeared on August 27, 2015


Around 1 a.m. on April 24, semi-truck drivers in the Oak Park area of Michigan received a distress call from area police: An unidentified man was standing on the edge of a local bridge, apparently ready to jump onto the freeway below.

Those drivers then did something amazing. They raced to the scene to help — and lined up their trucks under the bridge, providing a relatively safe landing space should the man jump.



Fortunately, he didn't.

The impressive line-up wasn't a coincidence — the drivers were prepared for exactly this sort of situation.Sgt. Jason Brockdorff of the Huntington Woods Police Department told The Detroit News that the response was something local police and truck drivers had actually trained for. But what was unusual was the sheer number of drivers who responded to the call.

"That's a practice we use if we have a jumper," Brockdorff said. "We try to do it every time, to lessen the distance someone would travel if they were to jump. Fortunately, that didn't happen."

The incident lasted nearly four hours, into the early morning. However, once the trucks were in place, the police were able to more comfortably negotiate with the unidentified man.

Eventually, the man walked off the bridge on his own and is currently receiving medical help.

In a pair of tweets, the local police department called attention to the incident to remind people in similar situations of the importance of seeking mental health services (emphasis mine):

This photo does show the work troopers and local officers do to serve the public. But also in that photo is a man struggling with the decision to take his own life. Please remember help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
You can also call a loved one, member of the clergy or 911. There are so many people that can help you make the choice to get help and live! It is our hope to never see another photo like this again.

Working together, the police and everyday strangers saved a life.

Ordinary people heeded the call of service to help a fellow person who was struggling. It's a powerful image that's impossible to ignore, and a reminder of humanity at its best.


This article originally appeared on 04.24.18