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A woman who's 'wobbly' talks about why the idea of 'normal' is actually pretty toxic.

"Accepting yourself as you are is an act of civil disobedience." Whoa.

A woman who's 'wobbly' talks about why the idea of 'normal' is actually pretty toxic.

What even is "normal"?

We're constantly shown pictures of what "normal" is through media, but is that accurate? And more importantly, is it helping us ... at all?

Francesca Martinez has cerebral palsy (although she prefers the term "wobbly," which you'll hear in the video below). Feelings of being "abnormal" or "faulty" seeped into her everyday life and drained her of creative energy.


If the world treats you like a mistake or an exception, how can you find your value?

But then she had a realization: Who really is normal, anyway?! Reality is completely warped on every kind of media platform imaginable. Everyone is told to push toward ideals that are often impossible, unhealthy, or unappealing. Who needs that!

She thought about how this pretend idea of "normalcy" relates to our everyday life. We're not made out of cookie cutters, but we're often treated that way, especially by the products we buy.

Think about our shopping carts, our TV screens, our status updates — how much of it has to do with creating a fictional version of our own individual reality? Could the idea of "normal" be something that's actually working against us?

Could "normal" actually be a distraction from the stuff that really matters?

Listen to Francesca's excellent speech on how it relates to the way we buy stuff, how it's affecting climate change (?!), and how accepting ourselves as we are is actually one of the most important things you can do. Like for real.

I just have to quote the last bit of her speech because it is wonderful:

"We won the lottery in life and life is such a beautiful, precious gift, and we have to savor it, because as far as we know, we are the only living things in the universe, so it is our duty to protect it." — Francesca Martinez

Share if you agree with this beautiful perspective!

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.