'It's OK to be scared' and 9 other messages we all probably need to hear right now.

If the news lately is getting you down, you're not alone.

From the Supreme Court to the refugee crisis to climate change, a lot of really big things are happening right now. These topics feel as though they're out of our control, making it easy for despair and apathy to settle in.


By now, we all know the drill: Vote, support organizations that share our values, and cultivate meaningful human relationships. Still, cynicism cuts through it all — or at least it can, if you let it.

But across social media, people are sharing powerful messages of hope and inspiration.

With the aforementioned assortment of anxieties affecting the world, let's take a look at some of these motivational messages.

1. Progress is a marathon, not a sprint.

Civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia) called on people not to lose themselves in a "sea of despair" following disheartening news about the Supreme Court. If anyone would know about doing the right thing and overcoming challenges, it'd be Lewis.

2. It's OK to be scared, but remember that history is made up of scared people who changed the world anyway.

Writer John Paul Brammer offered an important reminder about fear and channeling it into progress.

3. Keep your eyes forward.

Hindsight is 20/20, and "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda relayed an important message about looking to the past for inspiration about your own progress, not to stay within it.

4. Take a deep breath and know that others stand with you.

Newscaster Dan Rather shared some poignant thoughts on his Facebook page, calling on people to "turn to your left and right and see the long lines of fellow citizens" who share your drive to create change.

The Supreme Court! It is the scene of what is in essence a coup led by Mitch McConnell, who flaunted democratic norms to...

Posted by Dan Rather on Wednesday, June 27, 2018

#steady #courageFor decades, Republicans have been able to have it all ways. Promise a radical reactionary rethink of...

Posted by Dan Rather on Wednesday, June 27, 2018

5. It takes patience and impatience to create change in the world.

Let America Vote founder Jason Kander shared some words of wisdom from his time as Missouri's Secretary of State, touching on the importance of being impatient enough to resist complacency while still remaining patient enough to see your goals through to the end.

6. Hope is a choice we make — and so is despair.

Writers Ashley C. Ford and Steve Marmel simply reject the ideas of despair and hopelessness. You can, too.

7. Never stop fighting, even when the outcome looks certain.

Commentator and podcast host Erin Gloria Ryan offered a word of caution to people claiming the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade case is in imminent danger, sharing a bit of history from 1992.

It's entirely possible that a more conservative court will move to overturn the ruling, but we shouldn't give up hope just yet.

8. If you lose hope, you lose. That's what your adversaries want.

Writer Alex Steffen reminds people that giving up on hope is the first step towards giving up altogether. "Embrace defiant optimism," he wrote.

9. Don't dismiss the whole as the result of a few. Small acts of good add up over time.

Author Celeste Ng asked her Twitter followers to promote inclusivity whenever possible. You may not win everyone over, but you'll surely find success with some.

10. The world sometimes takes two steps forward and one step back. If we stay focused, we can step forward once again.

Brittany Packnett believes people should look to the past — just not our own. "I come from people not meant to survive," she wrote.

As individuals, we might not be able to change much.

But as a unified force, we can make all the difference in the world.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

Believe
True
Macy's