+
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!

Courtesy of Molly Simonson Lee

Flight attendant sits on floor to comfort passenger

Not everyone enjoys flying. The level of non-enjoyment can range from mild discomfort to full blown Aerophobia, which is defined as an extreme fear of flying. While flying is the quickest way to get to far away destinations, for some people being that far off the ground is terrifying and they'd rather take their chances on the ground.

A passenger flying from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina to JFK International Airport in New York confronted that fear while flying with Delta. The woman, who is currently still unidentified expressed that she was nervous to fly according to Molly Simonson Lee, a passenger seated behind the woman who witnessed the encounter. Tight spaces don't make for much privacy, but in this case, the world is better for knowing this took place.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Engineering students created a life-size 'Operation' game—with a fun twist on the fail buzzer

The game trades in tweezers for tongs and the anxiety-producing buzzer for an audio meme.

Students at Washington State University created a life-size Operation game.

Anyone who has ever played the game Operation likely feels a teensy bit of anxiety just thinking about it. The experience of painstakingly trying to extract the Charlie Horse with those tiny, wired tweezers with a steady hand, only to accidentally touch the metal side and get the lightning-like jolt of the buzzer is hard to shake. That's the stuff of core memories right there.

But what if you had a humongous game board the size of a real human, with life-size bones and organs to extract? What if instead of tweezers, you had large tongs as tools to perform your operation? What if instead of Pavlovian-style fail buzzers, the game produced a much less traumatic womp womp womp sound when you mess up?

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches

This article originally appeared on 10.05.15


A fan of the Scottish synthpop band Chvrches got a bit more than he bargained for when he yelled to the stage.

"Marry me!" an unidentified man yelled out during a pause between songs.

"Pardon?" Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry responded, prompting the man to shout out, "Marry me! Now!"

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Zoe Schaeffer on Unsplash

Alabama farmer paid strangers' pharmacy bills in secret

There are still good people in the world, and a farmer in Alabama left a legacy of kindness in his small town. Hody Childress lived in Geraldine, Alabama, which is about 40 miles outside of Huntsville and for the last 10 years of his life he made anonymous donations to the local pharmacy. No, the pharmacy isn't a charity, so donations aren't something they're accustomed to receiving.

But Childress was on a mission to help his struggling townspeople with access to medications that may be essential. Pharmacies likely run into many people during the week or month that can't afford the pricey cost of some of their prescriptions. I've personally seen pharmacists look up prices from other pharmacies to find the cheapest cost for the customer, or use a GoodRx card to help offset the cost.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

The reaction of these twins when one of them gets into Harvard is so wholesome

"I get so excited every time I get to talk about it because obviously Matthew worked so hard for this."

Reaction of these twins when one gets into Harvard is wholesome

You know how you are scrolling through your favorite social media app and you come across a video that just makes you do that big cheesy grin at your phone? Come on, you know that dorky grin I'm talking about. The one that makes your cheeks hurt and eyes swell up for a bit before you realize you're pushing your cart through the grocery store and people are looking at you weird. Yeah, that one - this video will do that to you.

You've been warned so you can't say you were unaware of the delight it would bring. Two teens, Matthew and Magdalena Myslenski, who just happen to be twins were doing the stressful ritual of opening up "the mail" to see if Matthew got accepted into his dream school. The mail is in quotes because teens don't receive paper acceptance letters anymore, they receive emails. Bonus points for no paper cuts.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

Watch these teachers tell their students why they're an inspiration.

They're the reason these teachers come to work every day.

Photo from Pixabay

Teachers earn their own A's through this act of encouragement.

This article originally appeared on 10.06.16


Thinking back, I'm sure we can all recall having a tough day at school.

Maybe you got a bad grade on a test or weren't picked for a team you desperately wanted to be on. Or maybe there was a day (or days) where you just didn't feel like your presence at school mattered.

While you may no longer be in school, feeling unimportant can absolutely trickle back from time to time. I happened to be experiencing some of those feelings myself when I stumbled upon an amazing video by Jamie McSparin, a teacher at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri.
Keep ReadingShow less