She timidly asked the woman eating alone if she could join her. It was her best decision all year.

I'm not crying, YOU'RE crying!

We sometimes lose sight of the fact that every day we have a choice.

We can choose to connect to those around us, or we can choose to close ourselves off. Some days we may not feel like reaching out to others, but on days when we can, you never know just what may come of it.

We're busy.

I know. I'm caught in that cycle, too. When I do get a moment to breathe and do something for myself, sometimes I just want the time to clear my mind and, blessedly, say nothing. There's nothing wrong with that.


But during our more generous moments...

Maybe we could stretch ourselves a bit further — stretch to offer human warmth and conversation to someone who deserves it simply for being another person in our midst. Stretch to brighten someone's day, knowing that maybe we'll be turned down, and maybe we won't. Stretch to keep ourselves open to the world and to other people, even if naysayers would have you believe it's safer to stay tight and closed off. Stretch simply to tell the world that we won't be automatons who use our energy and light only for the tasks required to survive but that we will be people who really live.

That's what happened when Brooke Ochoa went to lunch by herself. She could have kept her gaze fixed to her phone, barely taking in the information from the environment around her. But she tuned in. She noticed people. She noticed Delores. And what came of that is truly beautiful. Enjoy.

Image by Brooke Ochoa.

"Today I Went to eat at a restaurant for lunch and I saw this elder lady coming from afar so I waited to hold the door for her, she was very thankful and sweet. She then told the waitress, "table for one", so I waited and hesitated but then I walked over and said, "I'm eating by myself too would you like to have lunch together?" She was ecstatic! Come to find out she spent the last decade living with her mom who recently passed away and her aunt who recently was put into a nursing home, so she has been having a hard time being alone. We had a wonderful talk, and she just kept smiling and saying thank you for listening to me, which made me smile too! Her words healed my heart just as much as i healed her lonely one. By far the best decision I've made all year!!! Her name is Delores, and we will be having lunch every Thursday from now on."
More


Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature

As a child, Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia's parents didn't ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Instead, her father would ask, "Are you going to be a doctor? Are you going to be an engineer? Or are you going to be an entrepreneur?"

Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

Keep Reading Show less
Packard Foundation
True

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Amy Johnson

The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

"He started to cling to me and I told him, 'Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun!'" Johnson told Fox 7.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared