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It's the story of "the big three," a set of triplets (a biological brother and sister, and their adopted brother), and the two parents, Jack and Rebecca, who shaped their adult lives.

"This Is Us" is the shamefully, unapologetically tear-jerking NBC hit that has millions tuning in every week to ugly-cry together, and it just wrapped its first season.

The show isn't always perfect, but is thoughtful in its portrayal of characters we're not used to seeing — maybe none more so than Jack Pearson, the dutiful and selfless dad of the family.


Milo Ventimiglia plays Jack. Photo by NBCUniversal Media, LLC.

"This Is Us" — though good at sprinkling in humor here and there — is not a comedy. Jack is not obligated to be funny, which likely is part of the reason he's been spared from becoming the buffoonish dad we're used to seeing in TV and movies.

It's not just that (and the fact his mustache/beard are #goals) that makes Jack such a compelling character. There are (at least) five things that make Jack a pretty damn good model of masculinity in an age where being a blustering, blathering "alpha male" can get you pretty far.

By the way, no spoilers for the season finale here. (But if you don't already know that Jack does not live to grow old with Rebecca, where have you even been for the last three months?)

1. He doesn't apologize for showing a full range of human emotions.

When we first meet Jack in the series' pilot episode, he is a man in total control. When he and a pregnant Rebecca arrive at the hospital, the babies on their way, the doctor warns them the risks during delivery will be high.

"We're walking out of this hospital with three healthy babies and a healthy wife," Jack reassures the doctor while also supporting Rebecca during contractions.

Unfortunately, the third baby, a little boy, is stillborn. When Jack gets the news, he breaks down in tears in the waiting room, before ultimately deciding to bring home Randall, an abandoned baby being treated at the same hospital.

It's not the last time we see Jack's emotional vulnerability. Because, you know what? It's OK for dudes to cry.

2. He's fiercely loyal to his family.

Yes, Jack is the main breadwinner for the family, but it's not what makes him a man. It's dedication that goes far beyond just working long hours.

For example, there’s a secretary at work constantly batting her eyes at him, and in one episode, she finally makes a move. He turns her down with ease, and frankly, the show doesn't make a big deal of it. Jack doesn’t get any hero points for remaining faithful, as he shouldn’t. Jack proves real men can be complex beings with morals and values that aren't based around sex.

It also becomes clear later in the series Jack was the one who pushed for marriage and children with Rebecca, a nice change of pace from the commitment-allergic men we're used to seeing on TV.

"To me, you are every part my son." GIF from "This Is Us"/YouTube.

3. He's a great, great, great dad.

A lot of TV dads love their kids and will show it through goofy hijinks, roughhousing, or gruffly bonding over sports. But not Jack. He handles the tough stuff too.

Like who could forget the time he stayed up all night sewing Madonna gloves for his daughter's birthday party and, when things didn't go as planned, tried to cheer her up by asking her to teach him how to "vogue"?

In one of his best moments, though, Jack realizes he as a white man can't be the only role model in his black son's life, so he takes him to an all-black karate class where he can learn how to face the difficulties that come with being a man of color.

4. He's a true romantic.

TV and movies are rife with dunderheaded men forgetting birthdays and anniversaries, scrambling around to cover their tracks with thoughtless, last-minute gestures. Not Jack. In one episode, he rents his and Rebecca's now-vacant first apartment for a night, fills it with candles and champagne, and challenges the both of them to never forget the things they love about each other.

He constantly finds time and energy to make his wife (and his kids, for that matter) feel special, loved, and appreciated.

Doesn't get much more manly than that.

"Rebecca, you have changed the way I think about love." GIF from "This Is Us"/YouTube

5. Despite all of these things, Jack is a flawed man.

Throughout much of the series, Jack seems perfect. Rebecca even describes him as a "superhero" more than once.

But Jack battles with a drinking problem. Later, he has trouble reigning in his jealousy of another man in Rebecca's life. He occasionally crumbles under the weight of being the family’s rock.

Through it all, Jack needs his wife, and he knows it. In these moments, it's Rebecca who picks him up and helps him be a better man.

Because no matter how "manly" you are, no one can do it all alone.

"From now on, I'm going to be an 11 [out of 10] for you, baby." GIF from "This Is Us"/YouTube.

We know Jack dies before his kids are grown, but with the show's jump-around timeline, let's hope he shows up plenty in season two.

After all, he still has a lot more to teach us dudes about what it really means to be a man.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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via Tod Perry

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