Arnold Schwarzenegger's caring response to a depressed fan is a beautiful thing to read.

People who don’t understand clinical depression will often characterize those suffering from its debilitating symptoms as “weak” or “lazy.”

But the disease has nothing to do with will power, it's caused by biochemical changes in the brain.

Telling people with depression to “suck it up” or “quit feeling sorry for yourself” will only pile on their frustrations, making their illness worse.


Ali, a Reddit user from Quebec with the clunky handle 0770059834333178, was dealing with depression when he saw a video of actor, eight-time Mr. Olympia, and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger working out in the gym. Schwarzenegger was pumping some serious iron in preparation for his next “Terminator” film.

On a whim, Ali sent The Governator a direct message through the online forum asking for some help getting motivated.

Ali was blown away when Schwarzenegger responded to his message and it wasn’t with a simple, “Snap out of it!” Instead, the “True Lies” star’s response was heartfelt and showed he understood what it’s like to have depression.

via Reddit

After Schwarzenegger's response was shared on another subforum, Reddit user FormerGameDev thanked him for the inspiration. But Schwarzenegger handed all the credit to Ali.

via Reddit

Ali thanked Schwarzenegger for the encouragement and the “Predator” star praised him right back.

via Reddit

Later, Arnold uploaded a video to Reddit thanking Ali.

“You asked me to pump you up a little bit about your depression,” Schwarzenegger said. “I’m very happy that you snapped out of it and that now you’re pumping up other people that have depression. You’re encouraging them and giving them positive reinforcements. I love that. Hasta la vista.”

Schwarzenegger's kind works and positive attitude gives a deeper a meaning to the phrase “pumped up.” Sure, we can get jacked up on adrenaline at the gym, bit we can also pump each other up through empathy and a nudge in the right direction.

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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.