7 little challenges are all you need to add some love to the world.

There’s a lot of good in the world that needs doing. Figuring out how to do it can be daunting.

The whales need saving, people need housing, the hungry need feeding, and the hurting need healing. The world is full of huge, complicated problems — and if we can’t solve them in their entirety, it can be tempting not to work on solving them at all. We have to fight that temptation.

Every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, right?


We have to put a little bit of love into the world every single day. No matter how small or simple or insignificant it might seem, it’s not. It’s important — and it's something that we can all start doing today.

We're issuing you a challenge: Over the course of a week, commit to performing one act of love each day.

Day 1: Love like a good listener.

There are a million reasons not to stop and listen to what someone — your partner, your children, your friends, your coworkers — is saying. Today, no matter how busy you are or how unimportant each message might be, take the time to make the people around you feel heard.

All images via iStock.

And if you are the type of person who wants to take this a step further, you can really dig in with your listening skills and sign up to become a suicide hotline volunteer.

Day 2: Love like a lifeline.

We all know those people who are always there in a weird social situation to smooth things out and make us feel more comfortable. Today, let that be you! Whether it’s pulling someone shy into the group conversation or inviting the new coworker out for drinks, take the initiative to knock down obstacles and create new interpersonal connections.

Sure, it might seem uncomfortable or difficult at first, but you could be giving someone the confidence they need to feel welcomed and valued in their community.

Day 3: Love like a big spender.

Not everyone has loads of money to give away to every charitable effort they'd like, but there are always ways to provide monetary support.

If you have a little expendable income, take a look at your budget today and see where you can save $10 or $15 per month to give to one cause you care about.

If you don’t have expendable income, that doesn’t mean you can’t help fund charitable efforts. Websites like Free Rice and Free Kibble let you donate human or animal food by playing trivia games online. Charity Miles is an app that tracks your exercise and donates money for each mile you move. Pick a way to donate, and do it.

Day 4: Love like a social media influencer.

Knowledge and education are powerful tools for good, and the internet is an easy way to disseminate them to the people who need them most.

Today, pick something you think your followers need to learn. Is your community confused about LGBTQ legal rights? Do gender pronouns trip up people you know? Take a moment to assess how you can be an advocate for love in your online sphere. It can be intimidating to stand up for others when you know you have followers or friends who might disagree, but challenge yourself to follow through.

Day 5: Love like a vocal advocate.

No one ever said love was easy, and sometimes, love can get political. If the idea of wading into the world of politics makes you want to run away, this is the challenge for you. Visit the website 5 Calls, where you can pick a cause that is important to you and find the phone numbers and scripts you need to contact someone in Congress who can make a real difference.

Make just five calls for causes you love today — that's your challenge.

Day 6: Love like a neighbor.

It's so easy to neglect even our tightest relationships; it's even easier to overlook relationships with the people that we're physically closest to. Today, take a moment to extend a hand of friendship to a neighbor and make your relationship more than just geographical. Slip a nice card under their door or invite them in for a snack after work. It's easy to be a good neighbor — now go do it!

Day 7: Love like a partner.

To wrap up your week, challenge yourself to do something extra special for the person you love most, whether that's your romantic partner, your best friend, or just your partner in crime. What's a project that means a lot to them? Ask to participate or help them out today. Does your spouse love to fish? Your soulmate like to cook? Your best friend love playing sports? Even if it's not your cup of tea, show your partner that you love them by taking an interest in what they do. Even if it's just for a day, it will go a long way.

With one week of love, make a lasting positive impact.

Your little acts of love will make you a kinder person, will make the people around you feel loved, and will add a little bit of much-needed good to the world.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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