If you've ever felt disappointed, anxious, or afraid, let a 6-year-old lend you some perspective.

What do kids know about anxiety and fearing change? Actually, a lot.

Kids are pretty much at the whim of whoever's in charge of their activities. The world is full of all kinds of rules they haven't figured out yet (even if it's just what time the pool closes), and they depend a lot on their caregivers to guide them through. That can mean a lot of curveballs, dealing with disappointment, and feeling in the dark about things.

One person who thought a kid might have some helpful insight on anxiety, disappointment, and all-around icky feelings is filmmaker Bianca Giaever.


A film student at the time, she wanted to make a film on anxiety from a child's point of view. She began by sitting down with Asa, a local child, to see if there was some child-like wisdom to glean.

"I was curious to see if a six year old could relate to emotions like anxiety at such a young age. I didn't know that this advice would necessarily come from Asa — I interviewed a few different six year olds for this project by offering free babysitting or just asking. I asked some parents and figured that six years old is the perfect age, when kids can coherently tell a story but aren't self conscious or inhibiting themselves at all yet."
— Bianca Giaever

As it turns out, 6-year-olds are incredibly insightful.

She asked Asa if there was a story that a movie could be made out of. At first, Asa wasn't sure.

All images via Bianca Giaever.

But then it hit him! Asa made up a story worth telling right on the spot. Bianca created visuals for it with drawings and real-life actors (who lip-synced the dialogue) to bring the original tale to life. With Asa's narration, a totally delightful movie was made.

This is the story about Toby Mouse, Asa Bear, and how to fight the scared feelings that life can bring.

Asa Bear and Toby Mouse were great friends and had a lot of fun together — like enjoying one of their favorite activities, swimming at the pool.

But they had to figure out how to deal with disappointment when the pool was closing for the winter. They decided they'd just have to be patient and do some other things until it was open again.

One of the biggest gems of the short movie surfaces when Asa shares a tip for dealing with fear when it occurs: Think about the things you like!

For Asa, one of those things is pizza. Also cookies. (Whoa — I like those things, too!) The story is so well-done and whimsical that if you can spend a few minutes to watch it, it's well worth the time:

This story contains delightfully good advice for many of us when we need a little help getting through times that feel unfamiliar and a bit scary.

Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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