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Thara Uddin used to water his own garden — and then his neighbors', too. That's just the sort of thoughtful person he was.

On Aug. 13, 2016, moments after saying prayers and leaving his place of worship, Uddin was shot and killed alongside Imam Maulama Akonjee, the leader of the mosque he attended.

Their deaths have rattled the Muslim community in Queens, New York — and beyond.


Folks mourn the loss of two Muslim community members in Queens. Photo by Kena Betancura/AFP/Getty Images.

Although the investigation is ongoing and a motive has yet to be established, many believe it was a hate crime they believe Uddin and Akonjee were murdered because they were Muslim.

It's not an irrational thought, either, seeing as Islamophobia is anything but a dying form of bigotry in America. Last year, there were triple the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes compared to the year before, NBC News reported in December 2015.

In response to the murders, #IllWalkWithYou started cropping up across the internet.

The viral hashtag — created and shared by allies who are committed to standing in solidarity with their Muslim friends and neighbors — has been a shining ray of hope in the wake of a very dark situation.

The simple phrase packs a whole lot of love into four little words.

For interfaith couples, the hashtag might mean something a little bit more.

Some used the hashtag to point out that sometimes justice fails, and that's not OK.

While others noted that the hashtag was really humanity at its finest.

Many people, however, used the hashtag in a literal sense — to let their loved ones and Muslim neighbors know that they're only a phone call (or tweet) away.

From Washington, D.C. ...

...to Minnesota...

...and all the way to Tennessee.

The hashtag popped up from coast to coast, letting Muslims know there are plenty of people who'd walk with them around town, to provide safety in numbers wherever they need to go.

Even a few friends across the pond — who've witnessed their own recent wave of Islamophobic violence — got wind of the message and threw their support behind it.

In the wake of senseless violence, the hashtag made hearts a little bit fuller and the world seem a little less threatening to Muslims everywhere.

The hashtag also spurred conversations about what needs to happen in order for a viral hashtag to make lasting change.

Like calling out the fact that, in order to curb anti-Muslim violence, we need elected officials who will actually do something about it — not help perpetuate the bigotry.

After all, you don't have to be Muslim to understand what it's like to live at a greater risk of discrimination and violence in the U.S.

Women, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, people of color — the list goes on and on when it comes to the groups and communities who know what it's like to be targeted and what it's like when someone has your back.

When we all commit to having each other's backs, it makes the whole world a safer — and more beautiful — place to call home.

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 over 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!”

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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.

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"Time is the one thing we cannot increase.”

Over his seven years as host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah brought us laughter and valuable insights, even with a pandemic and political upheaval. He made such a positive mark that the announcement of his departure from the show came as bittersweet news to fans.

During an interview with Hoda Kotb of “Today,” Trevor Noah gave further explanation to his personal decision to leave, and in typical Noah fashion, it touched on something universal in the process.

“I realized during the pandemic,” he told Kotb, “everyone talks about a ‘work-life balance.’ But that almost creates the idea that your work and your life are two separate things. When in fact, I came to realize during the pandemic that it’s just a ‘life-life balance.’ It’s just your life.”

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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.

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