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Celia Robbins/X (used with permission)

Celia Robbins regretted not buying a puffin sweater in Iceland three years ago.

We all know that social media has its pitfalls. In fact, the U.S. surgeon general even wants to put a warning label on social media apps to alert us to the health danger it poses, especially to young people.

However, social media has also connected people around the world in a way that humanity has never seen before. That can be both good and bad, but when it's good, it can delight and inspire people around the globe.

That's where an Icelandic puffin sweater comes in.


Celia Robbins shared a post on X explaining that her 14-year-old daughter had asked her if she ever has any regrets.

"While I know she was asking this question on a philosophical level, my mind immediately went to this puffin sweater I saw in Iceland," she wrote. "It's been 3 years since I saw it in a shop there, & I still regret not buying it."

Three years may seem like a long time to be pining for a sweater, but non-buyer's remorse is a real thing, especially when you can't just hop online and order something. Robbins really loves puffins, but the sweater was too expensive for her buy at the time, and when she went back to Iceland in 2022, she couldn't find it again.

Fortunately—but unexpectedly—a random stranger who lives 4,000 miles away had the exact opposite regret about exactly the same sweater.

David Wiskus, who is the CEO of Nebula and lives in New York, shared that his regret was that he bought that puffin sweater for his wife two years ago on a trip to Iceland.

"She has worn it zero times," he wrote. "I'm in NYC. Cover shipping and it's yours."

Robbins was incredulous, but Wiskus was serious. "I would never joke about a puffin sweater," he wrote.

The people of X became invested in the puffin sweater exchange. What are the chances, after all?

But sure enough, 10 days after Robbins posted the photo of the sweater she wished she'd bought, it arrived at her home in Berlin, Germany. Wiskus even covered the shipping and expedited it, despite Robbins offering to pay for it.

And wouldn't you know, it fits her perfectly.

Robbins told TODAY.com she almost started crying when she received the package.

“I don’t know how else to explain it, but it’s like a tiny little moment where the universe cared about me," she said. “I’m living in a new country. We’ve only been in Berlin for like 11 months, and sometimes life is really hard. I don’t speak German. I thankfully have a job where I get to speak English, but this was just the universe being like, ‘Hey, I care about you and what you want.’”

Wiskus told TODAY.com that he was on a work trip to Amsterdam when he happened to come across Robbins' tweet and immediately recognized the sweater. It still had the tags on it in his wife's closet.

“I was sincere. I would happily get rid of that sweater,” he said. “I didn’t realize so many people on the internet would be that excited about it.”

“I can’t stress enough, I really thought this was just, like, doing a funny bit with a random stranger on (X) and it’s just turned into this other thing," he added. "But the sincerity of it is what I find so charming.”

How does his wife feel about him giving away her sweater? She's okay with it, he said, but she did tell him, “you’re going to have to take me to Iceland so I can get another sweater.”

People have loved the story on Upworthy's Instagram page, celebrating the internet being utilized for something so wholesome and magical:

"This is ABSOLUTELY what the internet is for. Nothing more. Nothing less."

"This is what I had hoped the internet and social media would partly be, connecting people around the world in really zany but loving ways. Keeping hope alive."

"Stories like these keep me coming back to the internet 😍👏🐧"

"This is the best damn use of the internet—more like this story!"

Who knew it a puffin sweater would bring people together to gush over the positive side of social media.

Joy

17 Gen X memes for the generation caught in the middle

Gen X is so forgotten that it's become something of a meme. Here are 17 memes that will resonate with just about anyone born between 1965 and 1980.

SOURCE: TWITTER




"Generation X" got its name in the early '90s from an article turned book by Canadian writer Douglas Coupland. And ever since, they've been fighting or embracing labels like "slacker" and "cynic." That is, until Millennials came of age and all that "you kids today" energy from older generations started to get heaped on them. Slowly, Gen X found they were no longer being called slackers... they weren't even being mentioned at all. And that suits them just fine.

Here are 17 memes that will resonate with just about anyone born between 1965 and 1980.

Gen X basically invented "Whatever."

gen x memesSOURCE: TWITTER



Until recently, Generation X has been sitting back and watching as Millennials and Boomers eat each other with an amused, non-confrontational attitude. But recently, Millennials and Gen Z became aware of their presence, and dubbed them "The Karen generation."

They seem to be embracing the Karen thing.

SOURCE: TWITTER

While I"m pretty sure the "Karen" thing is not complimentary — as BuzzFeed puts it, it's meant to communicate someone who is "the middle-aged white mom who is always asking for the manager and wondering why kids are so obsessed with their identities," lots of people landed on a different Karen to represent the generation: the martini-guzzling, wise-cracking Karen Walker.

Get it right!

SOURCE: TWITTER

Well [expletive] me gently with a chainsaw, she's right. The 1980s cult classic starring Winona Ryder and Shannen Doherty really is the Mean Girls of the '80s and a much better term than Karen

The disdain is mutual...

SOURCE: TWITTER

Most of my Gen X friends have Gen Z kids and they are intergenerationally very chill with each other. However, Gen X is the generation most likely to have Boomer parents and younger millennial kids, and this meme seems to be resonating a bunch with Xers of a certain age.

A lot of Xers are enjoying the "OK boomer" squabble.

SOURCE: TWITTER

The media tends to ignore Generation X as a whole — as a few tweets coming up demonstrate — and this pleases Gen X just fine. After all, they're used to it. They were latchkey kids whose parents both worked long hours, so they're used to being somewhat neglected.

A whole mood.

SOURCE: TWITTER

Gen X: "Look, don't pull us into this. You'll make me spill my beer."

Gen X: Get used to it.

SOURCE: TWITTER

Perhaps Gen X's blasé attitude to the generation wars has something to do with being called "Slackers" for a full decade.

Pass the popcorn.

SOURCE: TWITTER

Aside from this whole "Karen generation" blip, Gen X continues to be largely overlooked, and that fact — as well as their silent delight in it — is possibly one of the most Generation X things to happen to the class of 1965 to 1980.

Pay no attention to the man behind the venetian blinds.

SOURCE: TWITTER

Back in the '90s, Gen X bore the same kind of criticism Boomers tend to heap on Millennials and Gen Z now. It's not necessarily that they want to watch a cage match. It's just they're so relieved it's someone else being called slackers and downers for a change.

See?

SOURCE: TWITTER

Although this chart doesn't list the generation names, the approximate age ranges are all there... except for a big gap between the ages of 34 and 54 where apparently no humans were born? Poor Gen X (and some elder Millennials) apparently don't have political beliefs worth examining.

Don't you forget about me...

SOURCE: TWITTER

If Millennials are the "burnout generation," I guess Gen X is truly the invisible generation. I'm starting to feel inspired to write a science fiction novel where everyone born from 1966 to 1980 inhabits a totally different dimension.

There are perks to being invisible...

SOURCE: TWITTER

Being overlooked can be an advantage when you just want to sit in the corner and be immature. Gen X spent all of the 90s being told they were immature slackers, and in their 40s, a lot of them are really leaning into that description, because what does it matter?

"No one cares what we think anyway..."

via GIPHY

This GIF of Janeane Garofolo mocking her classmates at the high school reunion is basically a whole Gen X mood and definitely captures how a lot of this generation caught in the middle feels about the "OK boomer" wars.

Party on.

SOURCE: TWITTER

Before Brené Brown was telling us all how to dare greatly, Gen X got their inspirational advice from a different kind of TED and his pal Bill, who taught us all how important it is to learn from history and be excellent to each other.

Too late and yet too early.

SOURCE: TWITTER

Romance — or getting lucky — was never easy for Generation X. They were the generation most impacted by the AIDS epidemic when it comes to anxiety about casual sex. Whereas Boomers had the free love of the late '60s, Gen X was about safe sex, which usually meant less sex. And even when having safe casual sex, singles in the '90s had to meet people the old-fashioned way or, if they did meet online, they felt shame over it. Now online dating is the norm.

When Gen X replaces the Boomers.

SOURCE: TWITTER

This is probably an optimistic view — because the truth is there are "Boomers" in every generation, and many of them tend to find their way into powerful positions. Let's call this a best case scenario, though.

The Nihilism Generation

SOURCE: TWITTER

There is no generation more over it than Gen X. They are ready for the apocalypse, but don't expect them to, like, help or anything!


This article originally appeared on 3.18.20

Joy

7 powerful photographs of terminally ill patients living out their final wishes

Few gifts are greater than having your final wish granted.

All photos by the Ambulance Wish Foundation, used with permission.

She wanted to see "my favorite painting one last time."


Before 54-year-old Mario passed away, he had one special goodbye he needed to say ... to his favorite giraffe.

Mario had worked as a maintenance man at the Rotterdam zoo in the Netherlands for over 25 years. After his shifts, he loved to visit and help care for the animals, including the giraffes.



As Mario's fight against terminal brain cancer came to an end, all he wanted to do was visit the zoo one last time. He wanted to say goodbye to his colleagues — and maybe share a final moment with some of his furry friends.

Thanks to one incredible organization, Mario got his wish.

humanity, culture, inspirational

Kissed by a giraffe.

All photos by the Ambulance Wish Foundation, used with permission.

"To say goodbye to the animals."

The Ambulance Wish Foundation, a Dutch nonprofit, helps people like Mario experience one final request.

It's a lot like Make-A-Wish, only it's not just for kids.

In 2006, Kees Veldboer, who was an ambulance driver at the time, was moving a patient from one hospital to another. The patient was a terminally ill man who had spent three straight months confined to a hospital bed. During the trip from one hospital to the other, the patient told Veldboer that he wanted to see the Vlaardingen canal one last time. He wanted to sit in the sun and wind and smell the water again before going back inside.

Netherlands, mental health, charity

Taking in the sunset.

All photos by the Ambulance Wish Foundation, used with permission.

"To see the ocean again."

Veldboer made the patient's last wish happen, and as tears of joy streamed down the man's face, Veldboer knew he had tapped into a powerful way to bring peace to people in their final days.

Soon after, the Ambulance Wish Foundation was born.

Based in the Netherlands, Veldboer's organization scoffs at the logistical hurdles of transporting terminally ill patients who need high levels of care and, often, lots of medical equipment. The Ambulance Wish Foundation employs a fleet of custom-built ambulances and always has highly trained medical staff on hand for emergencies.

wellbeing, friendship, love and grief, memories

Saying goodbye.

All photos by the Ambulance Wish Foundation, used with permission.

"To visit my best friend's grave."

Their message? Positive end-of-life experiences are far too important to pass up.

Today, the AWF has over 230 volunteers and has fulfilled nearly 7,000 wishes.

Even more beautiful than the work this organization does, though, are the things its patients are asking for.

illness, life-threatening illness, living, adventure

Some tasty treats.

All photos by the Ambulance Wish Foundation, used with permission.

"To enjoy a delicious ice cream cone."

The Make-A-Wish Foundation specializes in granting wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses, many of whom have barely begun to live. The children's wishes run the gamut, from starring in a music video to a day as a hero soldier in the Army.

But what does Veldboer do for older folks who have already experienced so much? What do their wishes look like?

Mostly, it's the little things they cherish, like seeing their home one last time or spending a few hours just looking at something beautiful.

Veldboer, in an interview with the BBC, describes one woman who had not been home for six months. When they brought her into her living room on a stretcher, she hoisted herself up and stayed there for hours, doing nothing but looking around — likely replaying an entire lifetime worth of memories — before quietly asking them to take her away.

Another patient simply wanted to see her favorite Rembrandt painting again.

museum, art, history, community

Taking in some amazing art.

All photos by the Ambulance Wish Foundation, used with permission.

"To see my favorite painting one last time."

And another just wanted to spend an afternoon watching dolphins play.

dolphins, beach, ocean, nature, connection

Hello to the dolphins.

All photos by the Ambulance Wish Foundation, used with permission.

"To watch the dolphins play."

On and on the wishes go — about four of them fulfilled every day. People who just want to see their grandchild for the first time, or stand on the beach again before they can't anymore.

Turns out that life's simplest pleasures just might be its most meaningful.

Sometimes it feels like there's never enough time. Not in a day. Not in a year. Not in a life.

weddings, photography, family, Europe

Getting to be at the wedding.

All photos by the Ambulance Wish Foundation, used with permission.

"To attend my granddaughter's wedding."

But maybe it's better to cherish what we have rather than spend so much time thinking about all the things we haven't done yet.

Maybe the things we remember at the end aren't the time we went skydiving or the time we hiked across Europe. When our time is up, maybe what we'll remember most is more mundane — the tacky wallpaper in the house we grew up in, a sunny day spent on the water, or those little everyday moments spent with the people we love the most.

Whatever it is, it's comforting to know there are people out there who want our last memories of this place to be good ones.

I can't think of a more wonderful job.


This article originally appeared on 09.30.15

Photo Credit: Times Of India/Wikimedia Commons

Roger Federer "graduated" from tennis in 2022.

Roger Federer will go down in history as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, but his popularity extends far beyond the tennis court. With a reputation as a kind and classy sportsman, a generous philanthropist and and all around "good guy," Federer has gained fans of all ages, even outside of his sport, making him an ideal commencement speaker for one of America's top universities.

Dartmouth' College's class of 2024 got to listen to the tennis great share the three biggest lessons he learned from the sport at their commencement ceremony, and people have been sharing snippets from it on social media.


Federer told the graduates that he left school at 16 to play tennis and "graduated" from tennis in 2022. He said he wanted to share with the students three "tennis lessons" he learned during his career that has helped him transition to life after it, in the hopes that they might help them transition to life out in the world as well.

Lesson 1: Nothing is 'effortless'

"'Effortless' is a myth," he began. "I mean it. I say that as someone who has heard that word a lot. The truth is, I had to work very hard to make it look easy. I spent years whining, swearing (sorry), throwing my racket before I learned to keep my cool."

He shared a story of how an opponent early in his career helped him understand that anyone can excel in the early part of the game, but it takes significant, sustained effort to reach a level where you can play well throughout an entire tournament.

"I didn’t get where I got on pure talent alone," he said. "I got there by trying to outwork my opponents. I believed in myself. But belief in yourself has to be earned…From this day forward, some people are going to assume that because you graduated from Dartmouth, it all comes easy for you. And you know what? Let them believe that, as long as you don’t."

Lesson 2: "It's only a point."

"Let me explain. You can work harder than you thought possible and still lose," he said. "I have."

Federer explained that he always tried not to lose, of course, but sometimes he did. Everyone does, even those at the very top.

He told a story about how he had started to doubt himself after an opponent scored a point against him early in a match, and he had to learn not to let a single lost point get under his skin. Then he used statistics to illustrate his point.

"In the 1,526 singles matches I played in my career, I won almost 80% of those matches," he said. "Now, I have a question for all of you. What percentage of the points do you think I won in those matches? Only 54%. In other words, even top-ranked tennis players win barely more than half of the points they play. When you lose every second point, on average, you learn not to dwell on every shot."

"Here’s why I am telling you this," he continued. "When you’re playing a point, it has to be the most important thing in the world, and it is. But when it’s behind you, it’s behind you. This mindset is really crucial, because it frees you to fully commit to the next point and the next point after that with intensity, clarity and focus."

He shared that whatever games the students play in life, sometimes they're going to lose, and to him, the sign of a champion is learning to master hard moments.

"The best in the world are not the best because they win every point," he said. "It’s because they know they’ll lose, again and again, and have learned how to deal with it."

Lesson 3: Life is bigger than the court.

"Even when I was just starting out, I knew that tennis could show me the world... but tennis could never be the world," he said. "I knew that if I was lucky, maybe I could play competitively until my late 30s—maybe even 41! But even when I was in the top five, it was important to me to have a life, a rewarding life full of travel, culture, friendships, and especially family. I never abandoned my roots, and I never forgot where I came from, but I also never lost my appetite to see this very big world."

Federer shared what it has been like for him to serve the children of South Africa, his mother's homeland, through his foundation that focuses on the education of children across Southern Africa.

"It’s been an honor... and it’s been humbling," he said. "An honor to help tackle this challenge, and humbling to see how complex it is."

He shared that he was only 22 when he started his philanthropy work.

"I was not ready for anything other than tennis. But sometimes you’ve got to take a chance and then figure it out," he said. "Philanthropy can mean a lot of things. It can mean starting a nonprofit, or donating money. But it can also mean contributing your ideas, your time and your energy to a mission that is larger than yourself. All of you have so much to give, and I hope you will find your own, unique ways to make a difference, because life really is much bigger than the court."

Wise words from a wise man. You can find the full transcript of Federer's speech here.