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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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A mother's letter on the passing of her young daughter is a must-read on grief, love and loss

A mother's letter on the passing of her young daughter is a must-read on grief, love and loss

Upworthy is sharing this letter from Myra Sack on the anniversary of the passing of her daughter Havi Lev Goldstein. Loss affects everyone differently and nothing can prepare us for the loss of a young child. But as this letter beautifully demonstrates, grief is not something to be ignored or denied. We hope the honest words and feelings shared below can help you or someone you know who is processing grief of their own. The original letter begins below:


Dear Beauty,

Time is crawling to January 20th, the one-year anniversary of the day you took your final breath on my chest in our bed. We had a dance party the night before. Your posse came over. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, closest friends, and your loving nanny Tia. We sat in the warm kitchen with music on and passed you from one set of arms to another. Everyone wanted one last dance with you. We didn’t mess around with only slow songs. You danced to Havana and Danza Kuduro, too. Somehow, you mustered the energy to sway and rock with each of us, despite not having had anything to eat or drink for six days. That night, January 19th, we laughed and cried and sang and danced. And we held each other. We let our snot and our tears rest on each other’s shoulders; we didn’t wipe any of them away. We ate ice cream after dinner, as we do every night. And on this night, we rubbed a little bit of fresh mint chocolate chip against your lips. Maybe you’d taste the sweetness.

Reggaeton and country music. Blueberry pancakes and ice cream. Deep, long sobs and outbursts of real, raw laughter. Conversations about what our relationships mean to each other and why we are on this earth.



This is grief in our home.

We lost our first-born daughter, Havi Lev Goldstein, on January 20th, 2021, at 9:04am. She died peacefully in our bed, in our arms. She died from a cruel disease called Tay-Sachs, that strips your mind and body of every function over 12-18 months. Havi was two years, four months and sixteen days old when she died.

My husband, Matt Goldstein, and I underwent preconception genetic testing for Tay-Sachs disease. We are both Ashkenazi Jewish, a population that has a higher risk for having a mutation in the gene that causes Tay-Sachs. We took our genetic testing very seriously. My testing results came back showing that I was a carrier; Matt’s results said he was not. Given the autosomal recessive nature of the disease, both parents need to be carriers for the fetus to be at risk of inheriting the disease. Months later, we were pregnant with our first child.

Tragically, Matt received the wrong test, and his carrier status was mis-reported. Matt was in fact, a carrier for Tay-Sachs. 15 months into her life, we learned that our daughter, Havi, was now a victim of this fatal, progressive neurodegenerative disease. In an instant, we were transformed from being not only first-time parents, but now first-time parents of a dying child.

From the date of Havi’s diagnosis, December 17th, 2019, to her death on January 20th, 2021, we followed her lead. She never spoke a word, never walked a single step. But she communicated powerfully through smiles and tears, through the brightness of her eyes and the back-and-forth movements of her head. She loved, deeply. And when you closed your eyes and listened closely, her voice was clear.

Havi taught us that life can be even more beautiful and painful than we ever imagined. And when we live at the edge of that deepest beauty and deepest pain, then everything—our hearts, our world view, our community—will deepen and expand.

We honored Havi’s life every Friday night with family and friends in a celebration that we called Shabbirthday. The word is a combination of Shabbat and Birthday. Havi’s favorite food, the only food that she ever crawled toward, was challah, the braided Jewish bread that we eat every Shabbat. And we knew that her birthdays would be limited to two. That was not enough. We wanted more. So we threw Havi 57 Shabbirthdays before she died. Balloons, cakes, beach walks, fancy dinners, always a challah, and beautiful songs and prayers. We didn’t pretend to be happy on these Shabbirthdays. We weren’t. We were heart broken. We didn’t throw parties to distract or numb the pain. We found moments of beauty and celebration embedded in and between our deepest pain. We knew we needed the love and support of our closest people right there with us, too. And we treated every moment as sacred, not scary. As holy, not superficial.

This is grief in our home.

Since Havi’s death, we continue to honor Shabbirthdays every Friday. Now, we read poems, listen to Cole Swindell’s, ‘You Should Be Here’, and close our eyes tightly to try and recall the feeling of her wrapped tightly in our arms. Sometimes it’s hard to breathe. Sometimes I don’t want to open my eyes at the end of the song. And sometimes, I feel okay. Sometimes I can even smile through the song and cuddle with our beautiful younger daughter, Kaia. Whatever the feelings are, however the anguish of grief is manifesting, I pay attention.

Havi’s story is for anyone who has lost the person they love most in this world; for anyone who has watched someone they love lose their beloved; or for anyone who has yet to be touched by their own tragic loss and is open to learning about what it might feel like for them one day.

For me, Havi’s death is not a one-time event. It happens over and over again every moment she is not where she is supposed to be: Picking out a mismatched set of clothes that look adorable anyway; walking into preschool with her little hand gripping my index finger; pausing between the slides and the swings for a few bites of fig bar at the playground; playing with her little sister who looks up in admiration at her god given best friend. The losses are layered and constant. And they will accrue, every day, and on every missed milestone until the day I die. I’m not sure people understand that about losing a young child.

I think that the only way to be okay is to keep inviting our dead into those spaces, to keep them present in those moments where they should be. And not in a delusional way, either. Only in a way that helps us to create new memories and experiences with them since their life on this earth was so tragically short. Relationships don’t have to end when the physical ends. We don’t need to relegate them to the margins. As our therapist, Dr. Joanne Cacciatore puts it: We keep them right in the front row. From that place, they can participate actively in the life they were meant to have. And we can be proud to include them in it. And they can continue to encourage us to live a life of fullness and in service to others.

Even after only one year on this earth without Havi, my relationship with her has undergone profound and deepening changes. In the same way that relationships in the world of the living require immense attention and constant adjustments, so too, do our relationships with our dead. There are moments when I can still feel the touch of Hav’s softest cheeks against mine and there are also moments when I feel far away from her. There are times when I can hear her voice in my head and in my heart and times when the silence is everywhere even though I’m begging for her to show up.

A lot of this journey is a solitary one but it’s made so much easier when other people in our lives keep Havi present. This looks like so many beautiful things: Havi’s name written in the sand; outfits in the color purple; beautiful sunsets over mountains filled with wild flowers; a glass raised ‘To Hav’ before dinner begins; photographs on a bookshelf; text messages on important dates; acts of kindness in the spirit of a beautiful little girl. We do not need to ‘move on’ and we never will. We want to be joined in existing in the space where love and pain coexist for that is the space where we are closest to Hav. We, we all, can be changed forever by the power of loss. Falling into its embrace can make us more powerful, more productive, more alive, and more human. But that growth is ours to discover and cannot be rushed, or forced.

I wish we were kinder to grieving people. I wish we understood that grief is not scary. Losing Havi is the worst possible thing I could have ever imagined as a new mother. It is tragic and unnatural. But what is natural is to want to keep her close to us, to want to make her proud, to want to make the world better in her name, to want other people to know and love her. Those are all natural, quite beautiful, instincts that keep grieving people feeling like they can be okay and maybe even that they can become bigger and better versions of themselves.

I know my relationship with grief, and with Havi, is going to change many more times in my lifetime. I only hope that there will be more safe places to inhabit my suffering when it does.

Children are not supposed to die before their parents. But they do. And they do in this country, they do in all of our neighborhoods. And there are thousands of children, and their parents, who deserve a dance party filled with deep soulful sobs, uncontrollable laughter, and the rhythm of the music keeping us all on our feet for one more day. Most importantly, they deserve to be remembered.

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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

Image from Facebook of Alexandra Dal.

People of color experience many types of subtle racism.



If we're being honest, we all make assumptions about other people, right?

We look at their skin, their clothes, and their car, and we make guesses about them that we don't even realize we're making. Everyone does it.

You ask a pregnant female coworker if she'll keep working after the baby is born — but you wouldn't think to ask that question of a guy who was about to become a dad.


You ask that nice girl behind the counter at the bagel shop whether she'll ever go to college so she can get a better job — only to learn that she's an underemployed Ph.D.

You ask a hipster-looking guy on the subway whether he's into artisanal pickles — but he just happens to be a bad dresser who has no idea what you're talking about.

The fact is, though, that people of color deal with other people's assumptions constantly.

Research shows that other people's expectations can have a profound effect on us. They can determine our success or failure. And black women deal with this nonsense more than others. In a recent study, nearly half of the female black and Latina scientists polled reported being mistaken for janitors or administrative staff.


Let's agree to fix this.

racism, comics, artist, Alexandra Dal

A comic created by Alexandra Dal on racial expectations.

Image from Facebook of Alexandra Dal.

This story originally appeared on 12.15.15

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.

Photos by Eddson Lens (left) and Big Bag Films (right)

Librarians and bass guitar players were both mentioned as "good people" professions.

Have you ever noticed that the majority of people in certain jobs seem to be a bit nicer that most other people? More solid? More honest? A little more high-level humans overall?

While there's a wide range of personal diversity in every profession, there are some careers that seem to either attract or produce exceptional people. Exceptions to the exceptional exist, of course, but there are some jobs that people are calling out—with many people in agreement—as having the "coolest, most honest, most together people."


Park Rangers

People who care about nature, protect our public lands and help educate the public about good stewardship? Not surprising that Reddit users would call those folks solid human beings.

"Park rangers are some of the coolest, most genuine people you'll meet. They care deeply about nature, are always willing to help visitors, and have fascinating stories about the wildlife and landscapes they protect." – Sexy-Ass18

"Seconded. First thing I ever wanted to be was a park ranger, because the ones I knew were just the coolest." – belligerentoptimist

"Can confirm all of this. One of my best friends from high school is a LEO ranger and actually now in a fairly major role at Yellowstone. She is seriously the coolest individual, absolutely one of the best humans ever. She went to school for wildlife education or something like that, but has gone to FLETC training and basically ran the internal prison at Yellowstone for a while. She is one of the most badass people I know. She told me once that they have millions of visitors per year. All of those visitors bring all of their problems (domestic abuse, drugs, alcoholism, theft, etc) to the parks with them, so.... the park had a prison for holding people until they could be turned over to other law enforcement. They also had particular people who would deal with visitors who died in the park, including liaising with families, helping arrange to get remains returned home, etc. And that happened regularly. Apparently national parks are a major suicide destination, which is incredibly hard on the rangers who have to deal with it. She told me stories about deaths at the Grand Canyon when she was there.... It was exactly as bad as you imagine it would be to deal with suicides at the Grand Canyon. They do not leave them there, so.... Yeah. And people have to clean it up. It's absolutely insane all that goes on in the major parks that nobody thinks about." – SpectrumDiva

"One of my college friends is a park ranger. He's just the coolest guy. Always feel lucky when we get to hang out, get our kids all mixed up.

That being said, he's raising fearless heathens. One picked up a snake and was like "it's ok, we have the antidote in the truck." while waving it at my poor, defenseless city kids. They just ran away haha. Park ranger friend made his kid put the snake back and gave him an earful about not harassing wildlife and city people." – ButtWhispererer

Librarians

Lots of love for librarians out there.

"Honestly, from my anecdotal experience...librarians. Smart, consistently know how to deal with the greater public, great resources of knowledge, and live for the truth." – SirVeritas79

"I have always loved the way they talk to me when I have a question. I never feel stupid or bad for asking. They really are a 'people person.'" – SillyGayBoy

"YES! Agree! My wife and I have a couple of friends who are librarians and they are probably some of the smartest, most patient and kind people we know. And none of them are 280 years old, which used to be the stereotype I had of librarians because that was all I ever saw growing up. One of those friends is married to a childhood buddy of mine - they are both in their late 40s - been together since their 20s. When they first met I was shocked that someone so young was a librarian lol but also thought it was awesome. I’ve told them both many times that they can’t ever get divorced because we are keeping both of them ha ha

"Seriously though librarians are community treasures and a way underrated profession. 💯" – Intrepid_Detective

"I worked at as a children's librarian assistant for 3 years. It was awesome. People there were so chill, easy to get along with. Best office environment ever. Good stable government job, no need to constantly apply for grants or hustle. And knowledge all around." – kathmhughes

"As a librarian, I've often remarked that the best part of the profession is other librarians." – thatbob

Bass Players

"Bass players in a jazz band...best job in the world I might add." – myobservationonly

"Bass players in general honestly. Which is a tough thing to admit as a guitarist." – tintedwithrose

"As a pianist who usually plays right next to them...agreed. Bassists are my homies." – Casul_Tryhard

"As a drummer I totally agree. My bass player is probably the most talented member of our band, but he'd rather put everyone else in the spotlight. Also, even though he's super frugal he will gladly pay for dinner and drinks and buy us tickets to shows. He's a great guy and I'm really proud to say he's my friend." – Childish_Calrissian

"Most of the bassists I've met are kind, selfless people. I think there's something about the role of the instrument itself that attracts the kind of people who enjoy holding it all together without needing the attention and adulation that comes with it.

Of course, being a bassist myself, this could be complete bias lol." – the_alt_fright

"Singer here. It’s true. Every bass player I’ve played with is an exceptional human. My wife is one and she’s my rock. The bassist I played with on Saturday has his own non-profit for homeless outreach. My main bass player makes incredible falafel wraps when we carpool, with sourdough pita from scratch." – cha-do


Toll Booth Operators (but only in certain places, apparently)

Oddly enough, some toll booth operators in certain countries and specific places in the U.S. got a shout-out for being utterly delightful.

"In Japan, for some inexplicable reason, tollbooth operators. Everytime I take the freeway, those people are the friendliest, cheeriest, just overall nice people I meet in a month. Zero clue why." – festoon_the_dragoon

"It's actually the same here in Ireland. Always wondered why but they are super friendly every time you go through." – 5Ben5

"The toll booth operators on the Mackinaw Bridge are all super nice." – HalfaYooper

"I’ve actually had pretty positive experiences for the most part while using tolls in the northeast US! Pretty shockingly friendly people. To the point where my partner and I were like, 'how do you think they stay so cheery while literally sitting in the middle of a highway for hours on end?'" – Outandabout2023

"A few weeks ago I was driving to Topeka, KS and the toll booth operator was so friendly and asked me if I was doing anything fun in Topeka while I was there. I told her I was just picking up a movie from Vintage Stock but she was so friendly and the best part of my mini road trip from KC. I’ve actually never had an unfriendly Kansas toll booth experience." – i_n_c_r_y_p_t_o

Geologists

"Every geologist I ever met has been a pretty interesting, humble and enjoyable person to be around. Somebody who works in the field will probably reply back and disagree, lol." – LittleKitty235

"My father was a geologist, in the 70s he quit working for (major US oilco) because they wanted him to falsify data. So, yeah, they're honest. My dad told me once that it was one of the most romantic of the sciences...it wasn't the study of rocks but of how planets are formed, and therefore life. I so miss him." – WorldBiker

"Came here to say Geologist and surprised to see it near the top. We are awesome haha!" – Latchkey_Wizzard

These responses also prompted a flood of geologist puns, which pretty much rocked:

"They probably had a good foundation growing up."

"Agreed. Very down to earth and grounded in reality."

"I think they just don't try to find faults in people."

"They're good at digging beneath the crust of a person and seeing what's on the inside.'

"Generally speaking, rock solid people."

"They focus on having good mantle health."

"At their core, they accept the fluid nature of existence."

"They’re really gneiss, and don’t take friendship for granite."

"They’re truly sedimental people."

"There has to be one or two who are full of schist though, right?"

"I bet they dig these comments!"

Local Beat Newspaper Reporters

"Print reporters who’ve covered the same community their whole lives are pretty amazing people. People like to glom together all media, but reporters with a civic drive are some of the most curious and honest people I’ve ever spent time around. If you want people who really want to get to the bottom of a story and operate from facts/evidence, these are people to pay attention to. We owe a lot of what we actually know for sure in society to the labor local reporters." – SenorSplashdamage

"Very true, but they're all nearing extinction. The ones I know are just struggling to make it to retirement.

I've been a media guy for nearly four decades. Print reporters are good people." – Lincoln_Park_Pirate

"My uncle was a reporter in the Twin Cities his entire career. He wrote for the paper and local magazine. Extremely interesting guy who has a story about everything and seems to know the history of every patch of land and building in the area." – evilhomer3k

"I live in a small-ish town (about 15,000 residents). For years, we had a local paper, but it eventually went under as it was not profitable as the world moved more toward internet news. So, for a few years, we had nothing. Then, a guy who didn't even live in the town (but it was where he grew up) started an "online newspaper" and covered everything that went on (good and bad) pretty much as a labor of love and in addition to his job as a reporter at one of the much larger local papers. He makes a little bit of money from banner ads and sponsored ads, but that pretty much only covers his costs. However, he spends his time covering things in town, interviewing people, going to meetings, writing obituaries, etc. Plus, of late, he has taken some high school and college students under his wing and sent them out to report on some things in town. He is not obligated to do ANY of it - he's not profiting from it in any way, it is of no advantage to him, but he does it anyway... That speaks volumes about his character to me." – Madeline73

The human family is full of all kinds of people with a virtually endless array of personalities, characteristics, qualities and interests. But some simply stand out for their awesomeness and congregate in certain jobs, so here's to the park rangers, librarians, bass players and others who have earned a reputation for being solid human beings we can all appreciate.

klem528/Reddit via Upworthy/Instagram (left), Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash (right)

A small act of kindness can make a big difference.

No matter who we are or where we live, we all have occasional bad days—and it can be surprising how quickly someone's words or actions can make your day worse or better.

A woman shared a story on Reddit that showcases how one small and simple act of kindness can have a big lasting impact, prompting others to share their own stories.

Reddit user klem528 explained that she was "having a day" and crying in her car as she pulled into a frozen yogurt store parking lot one day.

"I caught a glimpse of a teenage girl and dad in the car next to me while I was crying," she wrote. "When I came back after eating the fro you, their car was gone but this was in my door handle."

The photo shows a $10 bill with a note bedecked with hearts that reads, "Your fro-yo is on us. We hope tomorrow is a better day."

People loved the example of strangers taking the time and money to help a fellow human being feel a little less alone and began sharing their own stories of random kindnesses.

"I was at the self checkout at Walmart a few months back. This mother and her child id seen a couple times were checking out. Her son was a saint. The whole time, he would help her grab stuff off shelves. Was very polite to other people in the store if they were in his way.

Anyway, they're checking out, and he had this toy and his mother apologized and told him she couldn't get it. The kid seemed upset about it, but went and took it to the woman over the self checkout.

As he was walking back, a girl who was still checking out asked for it, and bought it for him. Took it over to him, and this kid burst into tears and thanked her. The woman who bought it asked if he'd be good for his mom, and this poor kid was choking back more tears, shaking his head yes. The mother also choking back tears a bit and thanked her.

It made my heart warm that day. I've tried to do little acts of kindness more since then." – Shawnessy

"One day, I was on my way home with a friend when I was stopped at the pump by a young woman who was nearly hysterical, dressed up and shaking her hands out. 'Please, please do you have $5? I haven’t had a job in months, I’m on my way to an interview, and I need just enough gas to get there. Please?'

I filled her tank as full as it could go. I got back in the car after her thanks and watching her speed away, and my friend says, without even looking up from her phone, 'Know you just got taken for a ride, don’t you? She probably didn’t have an interview.'

But I just shrugged and said, 'But maybe she did.' I think about her often. Maybe I did lose $30. But maybe I helped a young mother (saw the car seat in her back) find a job and provide for her family. Either way, I did it because I wanted to help someone, and it’s on them if they lied. The world might be a lot nicer if we stopped assuming everyone’s out to get us. – KaythuluCrewe

"Last summer my best friend in the whole world and I had a complete falling out. I was sobbing in the Starbucks drive thru a few days later, I was feeling miserable and the woman in front of me payed for my drink and told the barista to tell me it’ll get better 😭😭 I cried.

There really are good people out there. I hope tomorrow is better xo" – haleymichal

"I once went into Starbucks and I was having such a hard day, my uncle died, boyfriend and I broke up, work was being really hard on me. I couldn’t hold back my tears when I went to order and the barista gave it to me for free. I’ve never been so grateful for such a small, kind gesture on a terrible day. I’ve never forgot it and I doubt I ever will. Small acts of kindness matter." – venusdances

"I went to Chick-fil-A the morning after my husband passed away to get my daughter something to eat. The girl taking my order said, “you look like you need a hug. Can I hug you?” I sobbed in that girl’s arms for a solid 5 min. Another employee routed cars to the other lane, and she kept telling me, “who cares about those cars, it’s about you right now.” I will never forget the kindness of this young lady who couldn’t have been older than 18-19, did not know my circumstance. She just made it her mission to comfort me that day. ❤️😪" – beachbaby5

"I was in Lowe’s the first Mother’s Day after losing my own mom to buy plants for my garden. I was so late to checkout inside that the registers were closed. I apologized and said it wasn’t the best day. Not only did they open a register for me, but the cashier went in the back and brought me a gift bag full of candy that they gave to all employees who were moms that day. I will never forget her face or her kindness." – carpalmieri

"I lost my dog 7 months ago. I’m very sad and having a really hard time. I went to the park we always visited for our fifteen years together. I was walking and crying behind my sunglasses. I was with my other dog ( she is having a really hard time too). A lady passed by and stopped me to ask about my dog and pet her. As I was answering, she asked if I was ok, because my voice was shaky. I said I was so sorry I was just thinking about my dog that passed away and really miss him, but that that we go there to feel him close, it was his favorite place. She started crying and hugged me, and told me I was a good dog mother. Small acts are HUGE for the ones in need. I needed that hug. 💜" – delphinacoscia

On one of the very worst days I can remember in years, my partner and I pulled over on a road trip to deal with some bad news. A woman in the parking lot passed two ice cream cones into our car windows. And that memory makes the hard day so much better in the rear view mirror. Kind strangers make the world such a better place ❤️" – neuro_fuzzy

The original poster who posted the story three years ago shared that she still keeps the $10 bill and note in her glove compartment. You just never know how a small act can boost someone's mood and offer a much-needed sense of hope. Imagine the world we could build if we all went out of our way to lift someone's spirits and remind them they're not alone.

If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, check out our new book, "GOOD PEOPLE: Stories From the Best of Humanity," now available for pre-order.


@professorneil/TikTok

A father pulling his weight shouldn't be considered "helping."

Yes, we’ve come a long way regarding gender equality. But if there’s any proof that we’ve still got a long way to go, look no further than the attitudes many still have when it comes to parenting roles.

Many still consider a father as “helping out” with a mom’s inherent responsibility when he participates in taking care of children, rather than simply being an equally contributing partner. And if mom is not working, the nuclear family ideal is even more persistent…as it is assumed she is the sole caretaker of the kids with no job to distract her.

All this can make the already difficult early chapters of parenthood next to impossible…and certainly not as enjoyable as they could be for moms who find themselves both partner-less and village-less.


Neil Shyminsky, a college professor and new dad, recently delved into this issue when he explained why he still participates in nighttime feedings—even though he works a full time job and his wife is on parental leave.

Shyminsky’s video was actually a response to another video made by labor equality advocate Paige Turner, who shared that someone called her “crazy” and “selfish” for suggesting a working dad should still wake up early with a new baby to give his wife an occasional break.

@professorneil #stitch with @Paige We’re all working, we’re all tired, and we all have to work in the morning, too #parenting #work #labor ♬ original sound - Professor Neil

“So it's currently 2 a.m. and I'm awake with this little one,” he says in the clip, explaining that he’ll be “on call for another two hours or so” until he switches with his wife, who is currently on parental leave.

As Shyminsky sees it, both parents are still currently working full-time, which makes his participating in overnight activities a no brainer.

“I might have to work a full day on four hours of really awful sleep, but I mean, what's the alternative? That she has to work a full day on none?” he asks.

As he eloquently puts it: “Parenting's work, parenting's labor. Stay-at-home parents work. I have no idea why we are still having this argument. Yeah, I can't figure it out there.”

So many viewers wrote in to praise Shyminsky’s rational take.

“It is exhausting to be the only parent to wake up at night.”

“I never understood the work argument. I still have to stay awake all day to take care of the baby and other kids. I need sleep.”

“Everything you said, and also the way to bond with a baby is by caring for it. That bond is worth some lost sleep.”

Others shared how they incorporated similar strategies.

One person wrote, “My husband and I had a great plan: I would go to bed around 8:00 and he would wake me up to switch around 1:00 or 2:00. We each got 5-6 hours each night. It worked for us!”

Another added, “Yeah we definitely did full night shifts. I’d take one night and husband would take the next. Lifesaver knowing you’d get a night of sleep every other night.”

Shyminsky also told Upworthy that this in no way is considered “helping” his wife, as that implies all things parenting are technically her responsibility and that he’s “assisting” her.

“When I’m not at my job, parenting is a shared and equal responsibility. So I’m not helping with the parenting, I’m sharing in it,” he said.

So true. Parenting is a full-time job…one without pay, and one that you can’t really clock in and out of. It’s downright unrealistic to expect mothers to take it all on by themselves.

via StanChris/Instagram (used with permission)

Chris Stanley interviews Timm Hanly.

LGBTQ influencer Chris Stanley was doing on-the-street reporting on June 2nd at the WeHo Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, when he ran into a straight guy with the best reaction to the event.

WeHo is one of the largest annual Pride celebrations in the world, drawing hundreds of thousands of people every June.

Australian TV star Timm Hanly was chomping down an ice cream cone when he ran into Stanley, who asked why he was there. He calmly told Stanley that he is “straight, not gay” and just there “for the vibes.” Hanly added that his family was visiting from Australia and it was their second day in the city.

Hanly appeared on “The Bachelorette Australia” in 2019 and “Bachelor in Paradise” in 2020 and then married his wife, Briana. The couple had a baby last October. However, his newfound domestic bliss didn’t stop Hanly from enjoying the festivities. When Stanley asked if the gays threw a good party, he adamantly agreed.


“F**king’ oath. One hundred percent. No one does it better, really,” Hanly replied. (For those who don’t speak fluent Aussie, “oath” is a very affirmative version of “yes,” like when American Gen Zers say “bet.”)

Hanly doubled down on his LGBTQ allyship when he grabbed the mic after being asked how he feels when hit on by gay men. “Oh, I love this,” he responded. “Let’s say I’m walking down the street and a gay guy is like looking at me. That’s as good as a girl looking at me. That counts. That’s as good for my ego as a hot chick looking at me,” Hanly said as Chris laughed.

The video captures what many people believe LGBTQ pride is all about love, acceptance, and having a good time. Many people thought that Hanly was the perfect example of straight allyship. “I think so many people loved it because there was zero toxic masculinity at all,” Chris told Upworthy. “He was just a dude who stumbled across something gay and admired it for what it was without any hostility involved. Something we need more of.”

“My favorite response was when he said he’s ‘just here for the vibes,’” Stanley continued.

A lot of the commenters agree with Stanley.

“And that’s how straight guys who are comfortable in their own sexuality should react to [a Pride parade],” Masterwill7 wrote. “Can Tim and his wife stay in the US and teach the men around here how to be better?” HJomckinney_added.

To further his quest to understand what Pride means in America. Stanley recently created a 22-minute short film about one of the smallest Pride celebrations in America in Morgantown, West Virginia.

“Imagine a Pride celebration so small, it’s almost a secret,” he says in the opening scene. The film explains what life is like for LGBTQ Americans in a state where intolerance is a part of life. “Everyone in West Virginia has a gay neighbor, but not everyone in West Virginia wants to talk about the fact that they have a gay neighbor,” Dustin Blankenship, from nearby Granville, says in the film.

I Went to the Smallest Pride in America! | LGBTQ+ Documentary