+
word of the year 2021, allyship, blm allies
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

2021's word of the year is…

Dictionary.com has officially announced its 2021 word of the year, and that word is:

Allyship

Despite the plethora of divisive stories this year—debates about vaccines, gun safety, education, abortion, the validity of conspiracy theories—this word has prevailed in our collective consciousness. And that alone indicates something much more uplifting: What matters most to people is helping one another.

Stemming from “alliance” (meaning the “merging of efforts or interests by persons, families, states or organizations,” according to Dictionary.com) “allyship” had only been added to the platform a month before earning the 2021 title. And in this year alone, it was in the top 850 searches out of thousands and thousands of words, and its frequency of use has surged 700% since 2020.



Dictionary.com gives two different definitions:

Allyship (noun)

1. advocates and actively works for the inclusion of a marginalized or politicized group in all areas of society but is not a member of that group, and acts in solidarity with its struggle and point of view and under its leadership.

2. the relationship of persons, groups or nations associating and cooperating with one another for a common cause or purpose.

At first glance, “allyship” might appear better suited for 2020, following George Floyd’s death and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. And with searing headlines of political discord, pessimistic outlooks on the pandemic and an overall dismal public view of humanity, “allyship” seems … a less than optimal choice. Did they consider “vaccine” like Merriam Webster did? Or “variant”? How about “Delta”? Surely these options better reflect the times?

Associate Director of Content & Education John Kelly noted, “It might be a surprising choice for some,” but “in the past few decades, the term has evolved to take on a more nuanced and specific meaning. It is continuing to evolve and we saw that in many ways.”

Allyship has now extended to frontline workers, teachers and parents who have gained support and advocacy during the pandemic.

“This year, we saw a lot of businesses and organizations very prominently, publicly, beginning efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Allyship is tied to that. In the classroom, there is a flashpoint around the term ‘critical race theory’. Allyship connects with this as well,” Kelly said.

The site also noted how a theme of genuine, nonperformative allyship was at the center of many “defining new stories of 2021” that made a lasting positive impact, from Simone Biles and the mental health of athletes to the Great Resignation and workplace burnout.

“These events were notable not only in their own right, of course, but also because of the ways we largely reacted to and discussed them through the lens of who gets a voice, who deserves empathy, and who and what is valued. This was a lens of allyship,” according to Dictionary.com.

When the world is looked at through this lens, perhaps the path toward 2022 is more compassionate and collaborative than our fears would indicate. And perhaps we can take a more elevated view of what it means to be an ally. At the end of the day, we could all use a little more friends and a little less enemies.

Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord.

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

Keep ReadingShow less

Phil Collins and George Harrison

This article originally appeared on 12.01.21


Beatle George Harrison was pigeon-holed as the "Quiet Beatle," but the youngest member of the Fab Four had an acerbic, dry sense of humor that was as sharp as the rest of his bandmates.

He gave great performances in the musical comedy classics, "A Hard Days Night" and "Help!" while holding his own during The Beatles' notoriously anarchic press conferences. After he left the band in 1970, in addition to his musical career, he would produce the 1979 Monty Python classic, "The Life of Brian."

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
woman holding a cup of tea, writing in a notebook

It's no secret that everyone could use a little kindness in their lives and it can come in many forms. Sometimes it's the neighbor cutting your grass when your husband's away and you're too busy to get to it yourself. Other times it's sending a card to the elderly widow down the street.

One woman in Arkansas has taken to spreading kindness through writing letters to strangers. Allison Bond, 25, started writing letters over a year ago during COVID-19 when she couldn't attend school due to her medical condition. Bond has cerebral palsy and is at greater risk for serious illness should she contract the virus. Writing letters was an act of kindness that didn't require a trip out of the house.

Bond began by writing to soldiers and inmates. In fact, the first letter she received back was from a soldier. Bond told 5News, "I have one framed from a soldier. He had all his battle buddies sign it. So I framed it so I could put it up." She's kept every letter she's received.

Keep ReadingShow less