'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.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.