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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

We could all use a roundup of joy.

10 things, piano, squirrel

Upworthy's roundup of delights from around the internet.

Have you ever pondered what joy actually is? Is it different than happiness, and if so, how?

Though the dictionary definitions of the words are quite similar, people like to debate how happiness and joy differ. Some people say happiness is an emotion while joy is a state of mind. Some describe happiness as coming from outside of us while joy comes from within us. Some describe happiness as surface and fleeting while joy is deeper and more lasting.

In the documentary "Mission: JOY," iconic spiritual leaders Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama explore the concept of joy. Each of them has endured a great deal of tragedy and struggle in their lives, yet both exude and embody joy at the deepest level. In 2015, six years before Desmond Tutu passed away, the two holy men spent five days together sharing their thoughts on life, suffering, compassion, joy and more.


The two agree that joy comes from within and is largely born from helping people. As Tutu said in the film, "Joy is the reward of seeking to give joy to others." And science backs that up as well. Research on happiness shows that those who do kind things for others are happier and healthier. The more joy we spread, the more joy we receive.

One of the best things about joy—it doesn't require everything to be OK to feel it. Even in the face of difficulty and struggle, we can find joy. People who face physical or mental health challenges can still experience joy. Though tragedies may touch our lives, joy still finds ways in.

Whether these 10 things will bring you joy or happiness I can't say, but hopefully, they will bring a smile or 10 to your face. Enjoy.

1. Let's all live vicariously through this baby squirrel being brushed.

This might seriously be the most relaxing video I've ever seen. I'd grab that brush and bring it back too, lil' squirrel.

2. These seniors got tap lessons and the joy is palpable.

Just the best. So much fun.

3. Seriously, this documentary about the kinship between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu is what the world needs now.

Everyone needs to watch this film. It's joyful, hopeful, beautiful and hilarious. Desmond Tutu's daughter said these two together have the energy of two 8-year-old boys, and it's so easy to see. Their friendship is truly a wonderful example to us all. Read the story here.

4. Kiddo meets his baby brother for the first time—with a Mario Bros. twist.

"It's a me, Mario!" And he finally got his Luigi. So sweet.

5. Baby leads a dance class and gracious, the cuteness is too much.

Let's have wee ones lead all of our exercise classes from now on, please.

6. Pianist unexpectedly summoned a fellow piano player at a London train station.

How fun is that?!? (Also, more public live music like this, please.)

7. Take a scroll through these pics of sweet doggos smelling the flowers.

The only thing better than a sweet doggo is a sweet doggo taking a moment to smell the flowers. Click the arrow on the right to scroll through.

8. The European Union beat its greenhouse gas emissions targets by more than 70%.

EU, flags

In a bit of good climate news, the EU blew past its greenhouse gas emissions goals for 2020.

Photo by ALEXANDRE LALLEMAND on Unsplash

In a bit of good news on the climate crisis front, official EU data submitted to the United Nations this week shows that the EU not only succeeded in cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20% but actually reduced them by 34%—a whopping 70% more than the goal. Undoubtedly, that accomplishment was helped by the COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020, but hey, we'll take it.

9. Gorilla family takes a keen interest in documentary filmmaker.

Can you even imagine? So thrilling and terrifying and adorable, all at the same time. Their curiosity is so innocent and sincere. And the silverback pulling that baby away, like, "Okay, that's enough. Leave the nice man alone." Just incredible.

10. Security camera captures this couple's sweet goodnight moments.

@isabellafons1

é meu vídeo favorito 🥹

The first shot of this video reads, "Me telling my boyfriend that I wanted to record more of our moments." And what follows is a series of candid clips from a home security camera showing them saying goodnight to each other. Awww. Young love. Gotta love it.

Have a joyful week, everyone, and come back next Friday for another roundup of delights!

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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