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Let's face it: We all face pain at some point in our lives.

[rebelmouse-image 19398114 dam="1" original_size="735x411" caption="Jada Pinkett Smith on Red Table Talk. Image via Red Table Talk/Facebook." expand=1]Jada Pinkett Smith on Red Table Talk. Image via Red Table Talk/Facebook.

Sometimes minuscule, sometimes excruciating, and sometimes all-encompassing, pain can throw us off course and redirect us to journeys we never expected. But according to a roundtable discussion on Red Table Talk with some pretty incredible women, that's exactly how it should be.


Actress Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter, Willow Smith, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, discussed their experiences with pain and loss. And it was downright inspiring.

[rebelmouse-image 19398115 dam="1" original_size="735x404" caption="Image via Red Table Talk/Facebook." expand=1]Image via Red Table Talk/Facebook.

The women got incredibly real, from discussions about grieving significant others to dealing with the death of a family member to using pain as a source of empowerment instead of a stopping point for chasing the inevitable joys of life.

Here are three gems from the incredibly moving discussion:  

1. Loss isn't always about losing something or someone else.

As an actress, producer, mother, and wife, Pinkett Smith's life gets pretty darn busy. She's grateful for the depth of her career and the wonderful opportunities she's had, but she is still human and still feels challenges, pain, and loss.

Pinkett Smith revealed that her greatest loss was the one person she needed most: herself.

She talked about the expectations placed on women — regardless of race, class, or career — and how those expectations can drain them. She went on to express her frustration and the somewhat oblivious questions she would receive that were supposed to define how well she was doing in life.  

"'Are your kids smiling? OK. Is your husband thriving? Good. Everybody else around you thriving? Then you're doing a good job, Jada!'" But alas, Pinkett Smith wasn't feeling that way. "One day I woke up, and I was withered," she said.

People owe it to themselves to give to themselves fully. If not, it's totally possible to lose yourself in the midst of all the directions you're pulled. Pinkett Smith's revelation is an all-too-real reminder of the importance of self-care.

Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images.

2. Honest conversations across generations can help everyone.  

Willow Smith discussed a dark period in her life that led to cutting, a form of self-harm. The other women were shocked to learn of this, and her grandmother remarked that things weren't like this for young girls back in her day. But Smith and her mom quickly rebuffed that claim. "It was definitely happening. It just wasn't coming to light," they said.

Just because you can't see people going through pain doesn't mean it didn't exist.

[rebelmouse-image 19398117 dam="1" original_size="735x413" caption="Image via Red Table Talk/Facebook." expand=1]Image via Red Table Talk/Facebook.

The conversation shows just how important talking among generations is. While times change, pain and self-harm practices are ageless facts of life. Having open, honest conversations across ages can illuminate some of these challenges and help people heal and learn from one another.    

3. Pain can be an opportunity for growth, renewed joy, and necessary change.  

Pinkett Smith spoke candidly about the death of her dear friend and former boyfriend, rap icon Tupac Shakur. He was murdered at just 25 years old, and with his death, Pinkett Smith had lost someone she'd expected to be in her life forever. "When I think about it, I still get really mad," Pinkett Smith said. "I get mad at God. I get mad at [Tupac]. I get mad at everybody."

In spite of the natural ebb and flow of healing from a loss of that magnitude, Pinkett Smith recognized that loss was a part of her path and that having someone in her life she felt that close to was an incredible experience in itself. "Amazingly enough, that loss actually brought me joy," Pinkett Smith said.  

Tragic experiences happen, and the effects they have can largely depend on your reaction to them.

Photo by Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images for Haute Living.

"I do believe that's part of why pain exists. ... That's part of why loss exists," Pinkett Smith said. "If we didn't experience pain, would we really grow? Would we really appreciate joy? Pain is a motivating factor to make a change in your life." This isn't to say you shouldn't acknowledge and feel your pain, but you deserve a good and full life.

The candid conversation among these amazing women gives a lot to think about. The key takeaway is that life's challenges shouldn't impede joy. People can use the lessons from pain and heartache to take life by the reins.

Watch the full Red Table Talk below:

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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John Cena sets new world record with 650 wishes granted with the Make-A-Wish Foundation

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The actor and WWE performer just broke the Guinness World Records for most wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As of July 19, Guinness World Records reports, Cena has granted a whopping 650 wishes. The highest amount any other celebrity granted was 200.

The 16-time world champion first became a wish-granter back in 2002. Since then, he’s become the foundation’s most requested celebrity—and he never turns anyone down.

"I just drop everything. I don't care what I'm doing," he said in a WWE produced video after granting his 500th wish. “I can't say enough how cool it is to see the kids so happy, and their families so happy, I truly want to show them that it's their day.”
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As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

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