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Australians Reveal Themselves To Be A Class Act, Even In The Face Of Tragedy. #illridewithyou

It's not every day that Twitter gives me faith in humanity. Today is that day.

Australians Reveal Themselves To Be A Class Act, Even In The Face Of Tragedy. #illridewithyou

Sometimes, you feel like hiding who you are.

As the news of the Dec. 15, 2014, hostage situation in Sydney was breaking, along with the possibility that the suspect was a Muslim extremist, a woman saw another woman on the train remove her head scarf.


These women had nothing to do with the hostage situation, but anti-Muslim sentiment can be so strong that any time something like this happens, it can be dangerous to wear a hijab in public for fear of harassment.

This story was retweeted and suddenly became the fastest-growing hashtag on Twitter.

People started posting details about their commutes and inviting any Muslims who felt unsafe traveling in the area to get in touch.

There's safety in numbers.


People expressed solidarity for their Muslim neighbors, racking up a thousand tweets per minute with the #illridewithyou hashtag.

In the midst of a crisis, it gave people hope.


It also moved them from clicktivism to activism.

Sometimes, when a tragedy strikes, you don't know what to say. #illridewithyou gave Aussies a response. They could stand up for people who might be scared to go out on their own.


It made a difference to at least some Muslims in the community.

I hope Australians are proud of themselves for responding to terrible events in a productive and compassionate way.

It's not a new idea. I loved this post with an image from the 1940s, another era of religiously motivated division.


Make sure your neighbors know #illridewithyou.

Here's a video with more information on the events:


Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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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.