Joy

Touching short film shows how the smallest act of kindness can help someone with depression.

A gift from a friendly neighbor gives Nadine something to live for.

bloom short film

One small act can mean the world to someone.

Depression can be a dark and lonely place. And yet, even the smallest dose of compassion contains the power to help lift someone out of the fog.

Animator Emily Johnstone created a touching short film that brilliantly explores this concept.

As the story goes, according to The Marginalian, a physicist going through his own dark night of the soul was given a plant bulb in a small pot. The gift had unexpectedly helped him regain a sense of hope and purpose.

That (seemingly) simple gesture was shared by Johnstone’s college professor, and became the basis for “Bloom.”

In “Bloom,” a woman named Nadine is surrounded in darkness until she receives a small amaryllis bulb plant from a friendly neighbor across the street.

(Amaryllis flowers can represent determination as well as hope, which is a nice touch on the storyteller’s part.)

Nadine’s apartment consists only of dull black and white, with only the television serving as a light source. We see her shoulders slumped as her fingers lazily tap on the arm of the chair. It’s a blend of both lethargy and restlessness that many who are depressed can relate to.

In contrast, the neighbor's world is full of the happy, vibrant colors as she tends to her windowsill garden.

The neighbor sees Nadine from across the street, and waves boisterously. And though Nadine initially flees, this is not the end of their interaction.

A knock is heard. Nadine reluctantly opens the door to find the amaryllis.

As Nadine begins to care for her gift … light returns. Joy spreads. Both women gently wave to one other. A now revived Nadine sees another soul across the way, in the same depression she knows all too well.

With a new sense of grace, Nadine is now able to help this person in the same way she was helped.

It’s a simple story with a deep, profound message. Sometimes all it takes is one act of kindness from a stranger to make the world a warmer, brighter, better place.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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