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17 people reveal the most 'wholesome secret' they've never told anyone before

"Instead of a dark one, what wholesome secret are you hiding?”

secrets, ask reddit, wholesome stories
via Pexels

Some people's secrets are dark, others are wholesome.

There’s an old adage you’ll often hear in recovery groups:

“We’re only as sick as our secrets.”

The phrase means that a secret kept in the dark grows and becomes more harmful, but when it is exposed in the light of day, its power is lost.

However, that saying only refers to the dark secrets we keep. What about the nice things we do for others without ever telling anyone? When we hold onto the positive things we’ve done for others does it make us happier because we did something without ever asking for credit?

Does doing good things in secret lead to a positive cycle of doing more and more good?


A Reddit user named @Toadsaged posed a question to the AskReddit subforum that was a bit of a departure from the usual conversation. People frequently ask people to reveal their darkest secrets on Reddit. But for a change of pace, @Toadsaged asked people to share the good things they’ve done without telling anyone.

“Instead of a dark one, what wholesome secret are you hiding?” @Toadsaged asked.

A lot of the responses were people sharing how they have anonymously helped friends, family members and neighbors who have fallen on hard times but may be too proud to ask for help. The responses are great because they show creative ways that people can help one another without making it known.

It’s also a reminder that there are a lot of people out there doing nice things that we never hear about.

Here are 17 of the best wholesome secrets that people have been hiding.

1.

"My stepmother doesn't know she's going to spend the rest of her life living with my family because I feel a sense of duty to her. My dad wasn't the best to her, and he drank himself to death immediately after a quadruple bypass. She never got to have kids because he had a vasectomy after I was born, and the reversal didn't work. The life insurance policy I guilted my dad into getting was only 50k, and it's gone. My brother completely rejected her as a mother. She's so happy when she's with my kids. And a disappointing life has taken its toll on her. I want her final years to be easy and happy, to feel like she has a family that is not ruled by alcohol." — @TheQuietType84

2.

"Every time my grandmother gave me money or paid me for doing her a favor, I always slipped the money back into her purse or hid it in her house when she wasn't paying attention. Sometimes when I had no choice but to leave with it, I'd trade it for smaller bills and hide it the next time I visited. She never knew. There were a lot of times we'd be talking over the phone or something and she'd get excited because she found money. It's nothing special, but it's something that makes me happy. And I know she's happy giving money when she can so it's a win-win! Y'all better not tell her either!" — @clumsyally423

3.

"I worked at a KFC for maybe 3 weeks back in 2005. I came out the back door one night after closing the place down to find several homeless guys huddled around the dumpster, digging through it to find the excess food we’d thrown out. That was some haunting shit… so for the rest of the short time I worked there, our excess food didn’t go in the dumpster. I just left it on the back step. Fucking Colonel Sanders could afford to take the hit so those poor bastards could eat a halfway decent meal without having to dig through garbage for it." — @risenphoenixkai

4.

"Someone close to me is too proud to accept my help so they go to a food pantry. So, I donate their favorite foods to the pantry so it stays stocked with the foods they prefer." — @Glum_Lab_3778

5.

"I buy hundreds of pounds of birdseed every year and keep all the bird feeders in the windows of the resident's rooms of our nursing home full. They all love watching the birds and think the facility provides it." — @WakingOwl1

6.

"Where I live, there is a place called the 'Blessing Box' It's a cabinet where people can drop off canned and dry goods to help feed other families. My wife and I hit some hard times financially and had to rely on the Blessing Box to feed ourselves. Made a promise to myself that if I ever came into some extra cash, I would return the blessing.

Later on, I scored a well-paying temp job and was able to catch up on a lot of bills right before Thanksgiving. Remembering the promise I made, I used my next paycheck to fill the Blessing Box to the brim with a variety of canned goods. Everything a family would need for the holiday. A few days later, the Blessing Box was featured on the local news and how an unknown donor provided enough food to feed over a dozen low-income families for the holiday. Wife and I have never told a soul that it was us." — @JQuest7575

7.

"Anytime either of my kids has a school field trip, I anonymously pay for a student that wouldn’t otherwise go due to financial reasons. I was always that kid, sitting in a strange class because my class was off doing something else. It sucked." — @SnoSlider

8.

"I 'lose' cash everywhere. Friends’ places, gently tucked into the booth at restaurants, just on the floor in a public place. I lightly believe in karma, and while it started ironically, I now full-heartedly believe that when I 'lose' a few bucks here and there, then that money goes to the person who needs/deserves it. It’s one of the few things I have thought of that has little to no chance of being caught for it. I also do the same with myself. I intentionally 'forget' cash in my jacket pockets, then it’s a nice surprise later in life." — @reynosomarkus

9.

"I got a girl in my class who was my friend a Valentine's card who never got any attention from guys. I never liked her in that way but wanted her to be happy. No joke she seemed to develop more confidence from that day and got a boyfriend a year later then got married a bit after that and is really happy.

I even heard her talking about it one day in a group setting and how happy it made her, and I had to stay really quiet because I wanted it to stay special for her." — @GroundbreakingMud537

10.

"I finished cancer treatments last spring and my work was extremely generous financially throughout the process. A sporting event was used as a fundraiser and I received $1200. Since I was almost done with treatment and bills were caught up, I gave $1000 to a student in my daughter's class who is fighting cancer too. I left it anonymously for her to pick up at school. Her mom posted a thank you on her FB page, but no one knows it was me." — @Puzzled-Mushroom8050

11.

"I often buy my friends tickets to concerts or movies and just say that I happened upon a free ticket and ask if they want to come. I never tell them I bought it just because I want them there and they couldn't afford to go!" — @Fedjito

12.

"I had recently moved into my own apartment in Manhattan after graduating and getting a very nice job on Wall St. Every Friday everyone would go dashing to the bars for Happy Hour but I'd respectfully always decline. I was a volunteer at a hospice home where I'd read, feed or just spend time with the residents there. I had been volunteering there for about 2 years and sadly saw more than a few of the folks I was close to pass away. I still think of the people there though they all must have left our world already since this was a long time ago. I'm certain we'll all meet again one day." — @BoujeeMomme

13.

"I bake food, like banana bread, cookies or brownies for the ups/ mail carriers during the holiday seasons since they’re the real Santas. I leave them in a plastic bags in the mamailboxith a little for the mail carrier/ thank you note, For the UPS people I’ll put it in a basket on our front porch with a similar note." — @DMaddsRads

14.

"I bought a poor kid in my church a left-hander's baseball glove and left it on the pew where his family sits with no note. He has since told me that it is awesome to have since he only had a hand-me-down riright-handernd he throws left. He's being raised by his grandmother who doesn't have a lot of cash and is stubborn about it—if I had left my name, she would have been angry about it and insisted on paying me back."— @KaleidoscopeWeird310


15.

"Whenever I get a raise, bonus, or if I feel like it, I leave an exorbitant tip and leave immediately after so I’m not caught. Oftentimes it’s over 400% of the bill." — @aimstothrive

16.

"I send my kid’s birthday/holiday cards from their grandparents every year. They aren’t involved in their lives but I do it in case one day they may want to be. My kids won’t have any ill feelings towards them." — @morganripley669

17.

"Every Christmas I leave a card with money in it and some gifts at the door of a single elderly woman living alone. I know she struggles financially and must be lonely. I like to think of her feeling like she has a Christmas miracle happening to her once a year." — @blacktransampinkguy

Pop Culture

SNL sketch about George Washington's dream for America hailed an 'instant classic'

"People will be referencing it as one of the all time best SNL skits for years.”

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

Seriously, what were our forefathers thinking with our measuring system?

Ever stop to think how bizarre it is that the United States is one of the only countries to not use the metric system? Or how it uses the word “football” to describe a sport that, unlike fútbol, barely uses the feet at all?

What must our forefathers have been thinking as they were creating this brave new world?

Wonder no further. All this and more is explored in a recent Saturday Night Live sketch that folks are hailing as an “instant classic.”

The hilarious clip takes place during the American Revolution, where George Washington rallies his troops with an impassioned speech about his future hopes for their fledgling country…all the while poking fun at America’s nonsensical measurements and language rules.

Like seriously, liters and milliliters for soda, wine and alcohol but gallons, pints, and quarters for milk and paint? And no “u” after “o” in words like “armor” and “color” but “glamour” is okay?

The inherent humor in the scene is only amplified by comedian and host Nate Bargatze’s understated, deadpan delivery of Washington. Bargatze had quite a few hits during his hosting stint—including an opening monologue that acted as a mini comedy set—but this performance takes the cake.

Watch:

All in all, people have been applauding the sketch, noting that it harkened back to what “SNL” does best, having fun with the simple things.

Here’s what folks are saying:

“This skit is an instant classic. I think people will be referencing it as one of the all time best SNL skits for years.”

“Dear SNL, whoever wrote this sketch, PLEASE let them write many many MANY more!”

“Instantly one of my favorite SNL sketches of all time!!!”

“I’m not lying when I say I have watched this sketch about 10 times and laughed just as hard every time.”

“This may be my favorite sketch ever. This is absolutely brilliant.”


There’s more where that came from. Catch even more of Bargatze’s “SNL” episode here.


This article originally appeared on 10.30.23

Photo from Pixaba7

Having the courage to report to the police when things appear off.

When you see or hear an Amber Alert, what do you usually do?

Sometimes it's the middle of the night, and the buzz of your cell phone stirs you out of a deep sleep before you can silence it. Other times, the alert interrupts your favorite song on the radio. Maybe you wait patiently for it to end. Maybe you change the station.


After all, who hasn't wondered, "What are the odds?"

Sure, the alerts are heartbreaking, but what are the odds you'll bump into the missing kid? What are the odds you'll see the getaway car? What are the odds you'll be able to do anything about it? Turns out, better than you think.

Here are five stories of people who suddenly found themselves face to face with a kidnapped child ... and rose to the occasion.

High intensity situations require calm nerves and quick thinking. Kudos to these people for noticing the Amber Alerts at the right time and, in some cases, for having the courage to act right then and there.

1) 2-year-old Ronnie Tran was found when his baby sitter, John Tuong, saw an Amber Alert ... for Ronnie.

John Tuong had no idea he was baby-sitting a missing kid.

Ronnie was kidnapped by his 65-year-old maternal grandmother, who, along with an accomplice, had attacked and restrained his mother. She left Ronnie with a family friend, John Tuong, who merely thought he was baby-sitting his sister's boyfriend's son.

Tuong saw an Amber Alert on his phone the next morning and realized the kid in the alert was actually asleep in the next room. John called the police immediately and Ronnie made it home safe.

2) 6-year-old Kloe was taken from her bed on February 21, 2015. Thanks to a gas station employee, she was back home on February 22.

Kloe was abducted in the middle of the night by a family friend. After she was reported missing, an Amber Alert went out, which, luckily, was seen by a clerk at a local gas station. The clerk recognized Kloe from the alert and tipped off police that he had seen the girl, the man who had taken her, and the van he was driving.

The clerk's account helped police narrow their search, and Carlin was eventually stopped on the interstate by a trooper, some 300 miles from Kloe's home, and taken into custody.

Kloe made it home to her family safe and sound the next day.

3) Leah and Jordan's kidnappers' RV broke down. The cops that pulled over to help had just seen the Amber Alert.

Amber Alerts aren't just for bystanders, they're for law enforcement too.

After 3-year-old Leah and 4-year-old Jordan were taken by relatives of their mother, the kidnapper's RV broke down on the side of the highway. Two deputies stopped by the vehicle to try to help them get back on the road. Luckily, the deputies had seen the Amber Alert and recognized the kids inside the vehicle.

Both made it back home safely the next day, but who knows what might have happened had the RV not broken down or if the cops weren't on the lookout for the missing kids.

4) A stranger stole a car with 3-year-old Bella inside. Later, a quick-thinking bystander physically pulled her to safety.

Leslie and Bella pose inside her bakery, Mini Cupcakes. Photo courtesy of Leslie Fiet, used with permission.

A strange woman asked to bum a cigarette from Bella's father as he walked into the 7-Eleven convenience store. He gave it to her. Then, the woman jumped in the car, with Bella still inside, and drove off.

Later on, the owner of a local cupcake bakery, Leslie Fiet, spotted the car after seeing the Amber Alert and she heroically pulled Bella from the backseat.

"My initial thought was to call 911 (when I discovered the car) but then I looked closer and saw Bella was in a tremendous amount of stress, hyperventilating and crying," Fiet told ABC News. "I just dropped my phone and ran out the door."

She locked Bella, and herself, inside the bakery until Bella's parents and police could arrive.

5) A pizza shop employee on her break spotted 7-year-old Nicolas and followed his kidnapper until police could arrive.

Courtney was brave to follow the kidnapper; and it paid off. Photo courtesy of KRIS TV.

Courtney Best, who was working at a small pizza shop in Corpus Christi, Texas, saw an Amber Alert on her phone while on her smoke break. She looked up and just happened to see the vehicle in question, a white Dodge Avenger, sitting in the parking lot in front of her with a child inside.

She followed the car, while on the phone with police, as it drove away.

"Cause, what are the odds? What are the odds of me looking at my phone?" Courtney told KrisTV. "And I usually don't even look at Amber Alerts, as bad as that sounds. I look at them and I don't really pay attention."

Thanks to her quick thinking, the police were able to recover Nicolas and return him safely to his family.

According to Robert Hoever of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, about 95% of Amber Alerts are resolved within 72 hours.

Robert, who is Director of Special Programs at the NCEMC, told Upworthy, "You can definitely see a huge change in how fast children are recovered today. The technology out there today helps."

In addition to wireless alerts, his organization also partners to issue alerts via Internet service providers, search engines, Internet ad exchanges, and even digital billboards.

And, Robert adds, if you ever find yourself in a situation like this, with any sort of information about a missing child, call 911 before you do anything. Emergency personnel will be able to help you navigate the situation.

We see a lot of Amber Alerts go viral, which is great, but we don't often get to see the happy endings.

Sadly, not every Amber Alert ends with a reunion. But the more we share these alerts with our networks, the more people they reach and the more likely they are to be seen by the right people.

In the meantime, it's comforting to know that most of these kids eventually make it home safely.


This article originally appeared on 08.10.15

Sustainability

Scientists tested 3 popular bottled water brands for nanoplastics using new tech, and yikes

The results were alarming—an average of 240,000 nanoplastics per 1 liter bottle—but what does it mean for our health?

Suzy Hazelwood/Canva

Columbia University researchers tested bottled water for nanoplastics and found hundreds of thousands of them.

Evian, Fiji, Voss, SmartWater, Aquafina, Dasani—it's impressive how many brands we have for something humans have been consuming for millennia. Despite years of studies showing that bottled water is no safer to drink than tap water, Americans are more consuming more bottled water than ever, to the tune of billions of dollars in bottled water sales.

People cite convenience and taste in addition to perceived safety for reasons they prefer bottle to tap, but the fear factor surrounding tap water is still a driving force. It doesn't help when emergencies like floods cause tap water contamination or when investigations reveal issues with lead pipes in some communities, but municipal water supplies are tested regularly, and in the vast majority of the U.S., you can safely grab a glass of water from a tap.

And now, a new study on nanoplastics found in three popular bottled water brands is throwing more data into the bottled vs. tap water choice.

Researchers from Columbia University used a new laser-guided technology to detect nanoplastics that had previously evaded detection due to their miniscule size. The new technology can detect, count and analyze and chemical structure of nanoparticles, and they found seven different major types of plastic: polyamide, polypropylene, polyethylene, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, and polyethylene terephthalate.

In contrast to a 2018 study that found around 300 plastic particles in an average liter of bottled water, the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January of 2024 found 240,000 nanoplastic particles per liter bottle on average between the three brands studied. (The name of the brands were not indicated in the study.)

As opposed to microplastics, nanoplastics are too small to be seen by microscope. Their size is exactly why experts are concerned about them, as they are small enough to invade human cells and potentially disrupt cellular processes.

“Micro and nanoplastics have been found in the human placenta at this point. They’ve been found in human lung tissues. They’ve been found in human feces; they’ve been found in human blood,” study coauthor Phoebe Stapleton, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Rutgers University’s Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy told CNN Health,

We know that nanoplastics are making their way into our bodies. We just don't have enough research yet on what that means for our health, and we still have more questions than answers. How many nanoplastics does it take to do damage and/or cause disease? What kinds of damage or disease might they cause? Is whatever effect they might have cumulative? We simply don't have answers to these questions yet.

That's not to say there's no cause for concern. We do know that certain levels of microplastic exposure have been shown to adversely affect the viability of cells. Nanoplastics are even smaller—does that mean they are more likely to cause cellular damage? Science is still working that out.

According to Dr. Sara Benedé of the Spanish National Research Council’s Institute of Food Science Research, it's not just the plastics themselves that might cause damage, but what they may bring along with them. “[Microparticles and nanoparticles] have the ability to bind all kinds of compounds when they come into contact with fluids, thus acting as carriers of all kinds of substances including environmental pollutants, toxins, antibiotics, or microorganisms,” Dr. Benedé told Medical News Today.

Where is this plastic in water coming from? This study focused on bottled water, which is almost always packaged in plastic. The filters used to filter the water before bottling are also frequently made from plastic.

Is it possible that some of these nanoplastics were already present in the water from their original sources? Again, research is always evolving on this front, but microplastics have been detected in lakes, streams and other freshwater sources, so it's not a big stretch to imagine that nanoplastics may be making their way into freshwater ecosystems as well. However, microplastics are found at much higher levels in bottled water than tap water, so it's also not a stretch to assume that most of the nanoplastics are likely coming from the bottling process and packaging rather than from freshwater sources.

The reality is, though, we simply don't know yet.

“Based on other studies we expected most of the microplastics in bottled water would come from leakage of the plastic bottle itself, which is typically made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic,” lead author Naixin Qian, a doctoral student in chemistry at Columbia University, told CNN Health. “However, we found there’s actually many diverse types of plastics in a bottle of water, and that different plastic types have different size distributions. The PET particles were larger, while others were down to 200 nanometers, which is much, much smaller.”

We need to drink water, and we need to drink safe water. At this point, we have plenty of environmental reasons for avoiding bottled water unless absolutely necessary and opting for tap water instead. Even if there's still more research to be done, the presence of hundreds of thousands of nanoplastics in bottled water might just be another reason to make the switch.


This article originally appeared on 2.2.24

Science

A study reveals the cheapest time to buy airfare

The average flyer misses the best deal by 15 days.

Taking a trip on the airline.

Everyone seems to have a theory on the best time to purchase airfare to save the most money. Some say it's right before take-off. Others will swear that prices are lowest six months before the flight. Well, now we have the truth. A scientific study was conducted by Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Commission that found the best times to buy flight tickets to get the best deal possible.

When we actually buy...


DOMESTIC: 32 DAYS IN ADVANCE

INTERNATIONAL: 59 DAYS IN ADVANCE

When we should buy...

cheap deals, Expedia, ticket prices, domestic flights

Get your boarding pass ready.

Photo from Pixabay.

DOMESTIC: 57 DAYS IN ADVANCE

The ideal advance-purchase time for domestic flight to snag the lowest average airfare is 57 with prices climbing most rapidly in the 20 days leading up to the flight. On a flight that averages $496, it will cost $401 57 days before the flight and around $650 the day of departure.

INTERNATIONAL: 171 DAYS IN ADVANCE
For a ticket that averages $1,368, the lowest average of $1,004 happens around 171 days before take-off. On the day of, the price will be around $1875. Ticket prices begin to dramatically escalate 75 days leading up to departure.

(H/T Conde Nast Traveler)


This article originally appeared on 10.14.15

John Arthur Greene (left) and his brother Kevin


A childhood game can go very wrong in the blink of an eye.

"You'll never get me!"

“Freeze! Put your hands up."

If you've ever played cops and robbers, you know how the game goes.


John Arthur Greene was 8 and he was playing that game with his older brother Kevin. Only the two brothers played with real guns. Living on a farm, they were both old hands at handling firearms by their ages.

The blast from the gun must have startled them both.

firearms, family, children

John Arthur Greene (left) and his brother Kevin.

Image from "American Idol"/YouTube.

“We were always extremely safe. They were never loaded," John said.

Except this time it was. And John's brother died in his arms while he watched.

It happens more often than you would ever want to imagine.

In federal data from 2007 to 2011, which is likely under-reported, an average of 62 children were accidentally killed by firearms per year.

Here's a chilling example from Everytown for Gun Safety:

"In Asheboro, North Carolina, a 26-year-old mother was cleaning her home when she heard a gunshot. Rushing into the living room, she discovered that her three-year-old son had accidentally shot her boyfriend's three-year-old daughter with a .22-caliber rifle the parents had left in the room, loaded and unlocked."

And the numbers may actually be getting worse.

With an increase in unfettered access to guns and philosophical opposition to gun regulations, the numbers seem to be on the rise. Here's how many accidental shootings happened at the hands of children in 2015 alone, by age:

gun safety, laws, research data on gun deaths

Unintentional Firearm Injuries & Deaths, 2015.

From January 19-26 of 2016 — just one week — at least seven kids were accidentally shot by another kid.

American Idol, guilt and sorrow, accidental shootings

Accidental shootings of kids in one week, January 2016.

If the pace holds up for the rest of the year, America would be looking at over 300 accidental shootings of children, in many cases by children, for the year. That's far too many cases of children either carrying the guilt and pain of having shot a loved one or hurting or killing themselves by accident.

John Arthur Greene has been able to manage his feelings of guilt and sorrow through music and by sharing his story for others to hear.

He told his story during an audition for the final season of "American Idol." He says music has helped him keep his brother's memory alive:

"Right now I lift him up every day and he holds me up. Music is how I coped with everything."

It's a powerful reminder. No matter how we each feel about gun safety laws, guns should always be locked away unloaded and kept separately from ammunition.

Our babies are too precious to leave it to chance.

Watch John Arthur Greene's audition for "American Idol" here:

This article originally appeared on 03.07.16