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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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We all need reminders of the beauty of humanity.

Looking around at the current state of affairs in the world can quickly lead to feelings of sadness or despair, especially when news media primarily focuses on the worst of humanity.

While we can't pretend that the serious problems we face don't exist, we also need to balance our perspective with reminders that people are more good than not, and that human atrocity is the exception, not the rule. We have countless examples of human beings being wonderful to one another in ways large and small, but those stories rarely make the headlines.

Part of our mission at Upworthy is to show that people are a force for good, and what better way to do that than to share people's stories of kindness, hope and faith in one another?


For all of its pitfalls, social media can be a great place to find those kinds of real-life stories, so we asked our Instagram audience to share a moment that restored their faith in humanity and people generously delivered. Here are some responses that might just restore your faith in humanity as well.

"Stuck in Thailand during the 2006 coup with my wife and our two-year-old in a carrying backpack, airline would not accept credit card to purchase last flight out of the country, ATMs were not working to get cash, after 30 minutes a random Indian man and his family stepped forward and handed us an envelope full of all the cash we needed to purchase two airline tickets from Thailand to Singapore. He did not want or expect a payback (we eventually did)." – joshinsd

"We awoke to a 5.7 earthquake in 2020 in our old historic Victorian home. The earthquake blew out our foundation. Everyone on our street was affected. My husband and I had retired. We ended up rebuilding which took almost two years with Covid and supply chain issues. Two houses down we have a lovely family with two young boys. They came up with an idea on their own to empty out their savings and insisted in giving it to us to help us. While we did not need the money, it was the gesture of sacrificing their hard earned money at such a young age, 8 and 10 that touched us deeply. With young people in our world with hearts such as this, we will see great things happening." – gmholm

"My boy wanted to play with a stick that an older girl had. She was so kind & gave him the stick. He took it, then went back to her, broke it half, & gave her half. I watched it all from the side & held back tears. Look to the children - they will show you pure kindness 🤍" – ripottsy

"I recently took my daycare littles on a library outing. One of my two year olds was looking for a Paw Patrol book. A sweet little girl (about 5 years old) overhead and dug into her book bag and gave it to the two year old. In return he offered her one of his books❤️. Such a simple, yet meaningful, act of such pure sweet innocence!" – richelleamyd

"I was wrangling my kids into their car seats for a trip to the grocery store one day. I put my wallet on the bumper of my car as I was walking from one side of my car so the other trying to get them buckled. I got in my car and left my house, totally forgetting to grab my wallet. I realized my mistake when I got to the grocery store. I retraced my route, but had no luck finding my wallet. It had cash, credit cards, gift cards, and my family’s social security cards. I basically kept all my important things in there (it was a big zip up day planner kind of wallet). I went home and just cried and cried. I was on the computer trying to figure out how to order replacement social security cards when there was a knock on my door. A very sweet man who didn’t speak English very well was standing there with my wallet. I immediately embraced him and said, “oh THANK YOU!” He was a bit taken aback and said, “oh…you sad?” I will forever be grateful that that man took time out of his day to do the honest thing. It would have been so easy for him to either ignore my wallet, or take it. I try to remember him when I see an opportunity to be honest." – julieletner

"My grandma passed, and at her funeral, I was telling a friend of hers how hard it would be to return to her home after her interment. For as long as I could remember, Grandma had waited on the front porch for me whenever I came to visit. Later that afternoon, when we did return to Grandma’s, her friend was standing on the porch waiting, just as Grandma always had. 'I didn’t want you to have to return to an empty porch after laying her to rest,' he kindly explained. His thoughtful gesture makes me tear up whenever I remember it. – lynnecook77

"I had just lost my little sister to suicide. i was in deep grief and had not eaten for a few days. i was craving a burger so i went to The Counter. sat there. cried the entire time and tried to get that burger down. apparently Two men in UPS uniforms were on their lunch break and when i asked for the bill. my server told me that those ups guys bought my lunch. i never even saw them there. it was the first time i didn’t feel completely alone during the darkest days of my grief. 💕" – clarkaosb

"I was 20+, sitting in a church and crying very hard. A very elderly woman came up, sat next to me, said it was going to be ok. She just sat there holding my hand, in silence. I could see her looking at me and well up. A moment full of love, tolerance and empathy for a total stranger. It changed me." – atirufo

"We had pizza delivered once and my 3 year old son wanted to give the delivery guy the tip. He handed it to the guy and he asked if he had a piggy bank and then he gave my son a $1 back to put in his bank ❤️" – kgwhit_

"I was sitting with my friend at Balboa Park and one of the vendors just walked over and handed us each a large slice of watermelon. It was a hot day and it was just so generous and kind." – lorimitchellart

"A man stopped his car in the middle of a very busy intersection, to get out and help a family of geese get across the street. It was a sight that my description does no justice." – christollbertson

"A few years ago I was at the vet’s office with my dog. I overheard a guy telling the vet that he couldn’t afford his dog’s surgery. The vet told him that he was not going to let his dog die and that he would perform the surgery even if he couldn’t pay him back." – norms1111

"I work at a grocery store as a cashier and one time the food stamp card system was down in NYS. People were having issues all day and everybody was getting understandably frustrated. This man was trying to pay but of course it wasn’t working. I asked him if he had another way to pay and he said no. The lady behind him handed him some cash and told him not to worry about it. She bought a week’s worth of his groceries, no big fuss made about it. Almost made me cry on a very tricky day❤️ – paytonncotter

"When we lived in Iran, we would escape to a green city (no fly zone) when the war would get really active. During one of these times, we had to drive over the mountain in the snow and fog (dead of winter) and with my Mum sick with bronchitis. When we got to the other side, my father and uncle decided to rent a hotel so Mum could rest, but we were in a random town and didn’t know what was around. Eventually, around 2.30 am, we came across what looked like a motel and went inside.

"There was one man there. He gave us a dingy, tiny room to share, looked at my Mum a couple of times, then quietly told my father to take her to hospital (this is all relayed by my Mum. I remember bits and pieces only). My uncle and dad decided to take her while my three-year-old sister and I stayed back. Once they got to hospital, doctors pulled my mum aside and asked first if she had been abused or was in danger (because of how sick she was, they thought she might have been drugged or beaten and had internal bleeding), then once she confirmed she was safe, they took her inside and started treating her. While they were there, the man sat with my sister and me and told us to go to sleep. My sister fell asleep straight away, but I couldn’t, so he sat with me and reassured me everything would be okay. He asked about school, what my favourite subject was. Normal talk during scary times.

"I fell asleep at some point, and when I woke up, my father and uncle were bringing Mum back into the room. The motel owner made a pot of hot tea and brought bread, butter, jam and cheese for us to eat. For those who don’t know, most of us could only shop with vouchers and coupons during the war (rations), so this man was literally sharing his food with us during a time when food was scarce to begin with. Around 5.00 the next evening, we went to pay that man, and he put his hand to his heart and said he couldn’t accept our payment. No matter how much my family insisted, this man refused and said he was honoured to have helped us and to please be safe on our way to the green zone. I am an Atheist, but truly believe this man to be an angel on earth. Kindness is a currency you can never forget." – lucid_nomad

If you enjoyed these stories, you'll love Upworthy's upcoming book, "GOOD PEOPLE: Stories from the Best of Humanity," which includes 101 stories of human decency, kindness and compassion. Pre-order now on Amazon.

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GOOD PEOPLE: Stores From the Best of Humanity

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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

Photo by Terricks Noah on Unsplash

Bringing the joy, one '10 things' list at a time

Hey all! Welcome to our weekly roundup of joyful finds! Hope these nuggets of delight bring a smile or 10 to your face.

If you'd like to have these posts delivered to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

Enjoy!


1. Some solid words of wisdom for the college-aged crowd

As someone who's been called "Gordo" for 25 years, can confirm. You have to be careful.

2. Sibling trio from South Africa sings an incredible rendition of 'Stand By Me'

@bikosmanna

🫶🏾🫶🏾 Stand by me Song by Ben E. King Covered by BikosManna #TauLion🦁 #BikoStar #MannaHero #TauLion🦁 #BikosManna #BKMN

That angelic voice. Those harmonies. The dancing body percussionist. Utter perfection. Read more about this dynamic trio here.

3. Dog grampa goes all out babysitting his daughter's pooch

Swipe through these texts. Could Gramps be more adorable?

4. Timothy Fletcher brings the house down with his jaw-dropping drum performance on AGT

The drumming is great, but the showmanship is next level. Read the full story here.

5. Woman sings in historic Iranian mosque, despite women being forbiddden to sing in public

Her voice is beautiful, but it's her courage and confidence—and that single finger stopping the man in his tracks—that make this video so incredible to watch.

6. Three cheers for all the Ronnies of the world

That's a young man who knew exactly what to do to put a mom's heart at ease in this situation. Way to go, Ronnie.

7. Girl calls her stepfather 'Dad' for the first time and it's just so beautiful

Here's to the dads who step in and step up to fatherhood. Read the full story here.

8. It's excitement over the little things like Egg Day that make a marriage

So dang sweet.

9. Sean Astin says just the right thing to a fan with depression (f-bomb warning)

@easttnelvira

I met one of my childhood heroes Sean Astin today and he offered me some words of wisdom and encouragement over the battles of depression that I needed to hear. I am so glad this was captured on video to remember this moment, cherish, and reflect on anytime I am feeling down. I hope anyone else who struggles with depression takes his words and kindness to heart too. 🖤 #seanastin #samwisegamgee #lordoftheringstiktok #lotr #lotrtok #lordoftherings #fanboyexpoknoxville #fyp #trending

A little empathy and understanding can go a long way. Read the full story here.

10. Watch a whole stadium sing their hearts out to 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at a Harry Styles concert in Poland

The music of Queen and the legacy of Freddie Mercury will live on forever, and listening to thousands of human voices lifted together in song will never get old. Read the full story here.

Have a fabulous weekend and come back next week for more smiles!

Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

From a smooch-loving doggo to a match made on Duolingo to an adorable daddy-daughter duet, this week's list of things that made us smile is bringing the joy.

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

I recently sat down with Rainn Wilson to talk about his book, "Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution," for the Upworthy Book Club, and one of the things we talked about was cynicism. We live in a world where it's so easy to be cynical, to toss up our hands and say, "People suck, so why bother?"

However, when we become cynical, we allow the negative forces in the world win. So what do we do instead?

Wilson posits that the opposite of cynicism isn't optimism, but joy. Optimism too easily becomes "toxic positivity," which is insensitive to the real difficulties people face. But as Wilson writes, joy "doesn't disregard the hard stuff. Joy knows that negativity is a part of life as well. Joy says that life is hard but there is a place you can go, a tool you can use. Joy is a force. A choice. Something that can be harnessed. A decision to be made."

There are lots of ways to foster joy in our lives, from being of service to others to spending time with loved ones to appreciating nature to finding wholesome reasons to smile and laugh.

Joy is powerful, and however small a measure of it this week's roundup provides, I hope it helps you battle away cynicism and offers some hope and peace to your soul.


1. Doggo makes it crystal clear that she wants allll the kisses.

Her communication couldn't be clearer even if she could talk.

2. You never know what a random act of kindness means to the person on the receiving end

"If it's on your heart to do something nice for someone, just do it." Words to live by.

3. Older skater holds younger skater's hand to help with a trick and his reaction when he lands it is priceless.

Skateboarding has really created such an awesome, supportive community. Read the full story here.

4. Two strangers met on Duolingo when he kept congratulating her on her progress. Now they're married.

What an adorable real-life meet cute!

5. Couple raises over $37,000 for a kid who came by their house looking for someone to befriend

@brennanray

Its takes 2 seconds to make someones day, you never know what people are going through until you get a chance to talk to them. This young man is well mannered, kind, and brave. So tiktok can we help shayden make some friends???#fyp #bekind #nobullying #love #kindness #letschangetheworld

It takes a lot of courage to ask for help and to put yourself out there, especially when you've been bullied. This kiddo may not have found any kids his age at the Ray home, but he did find some kind neighbors who wanted to help him out and raised over $37,000 for him and his family in a GoFundMe. Read the full story here.

6. Dad and baby singing their ABCs together doesn't really get any cuter

That little finger. So precious.

7. Cat insists on human doing its makeup…kind of

Let's get this cat together with the chihuahua in the first video and see what happens.

8. Accidental speech-to-text is the absolute best, but especially when you're talking to a dog

"Got to poop, little poopster?"

9. A raucous piano solo turned into a rockin' dance party at the mall

Staged? Eh, perhaps. Fun and joyful to witness? Most definitely.

10. If you're baking in the July heat, take some cool inspiration from this happy polar bear

Are you feeling the joy? Would you like more of it? Get these smiley-worthy posts delivered to your inbox each week by signing up for our free email newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

From sensitive street sweepers to delightful dancing toddlers, here are the week's most smile-worthy finds.

Did you know that the most popular class ever at Yale University is all about happiness? It's called "Psychology and the Good Life," and there's even a free six-week version of the class for teenagers called “The Science of Well-Being for Teens.”

In his new series, "The Geography of Bliss," on Peacock, actor Rainn Wilson explores what the happiest and unhappiest cultures do differently. The "secrets" he found to bliss are fairly straightforward. Community. Connection. Simplicity. Routinely plunging your body into the frigid waters of Iceland with your friends. (You know, the basics.)

In reality, we're all looking for ways to feel more contented, more fulfilled and more joyful. One of our goals at Upworthy is to aid in that process by highlighting what unites us and showcasing the good in humanity. Another goal is to make people smile, not only with beautiful stories of human connection but also with adorable animals and goofy toddler videos that remind us of the joy to be found in tiny things.

Hope this week's roundup brings you some measure of bliss. Enjoy!


1. The delightful, spontaneous 'fish song' that became a viral mental health anthem

@hicorook

I was having a very emotional day, feeling insecure and out of place. So I cried to Olivia and after feeling through it, we wrote this song in 10 minutes to remember the joy in being different 🐸 happy Tuesday

When you're having a bad day, so you co-write a song to cheer yourself up. Love it. Read the full story here.

2. Hummingbird takes to a human flower, and her joy is contagious.

Have you ever had a hummingbird fly this close to your head? It's loud. Those wings flapping are like a lawnmower. Pretty magical to be chosen like this, though. Read the full story here.

3. Radio DJ in the UK gets emotional when a man who won a large cash prize shares how he'll use it

Gulp. Crying? Smiling? Sometimes they're the same thing. Read the full story here.

4. Man hears his old high school teacher is in need of a kidney and changes his whole lifestyle to help him

Swipe through to read the whole story. Totally worth it. Good teachers truly make a lifelong impression on us.

5. This classic TV game show moment when a man called his dad as his 'lifeline'

Seriously a winner move. Just cool as a cucumber. Read the full story here.

6. When you get the imaginary kid lasso, you comply. It's the law.

And you always stop for the lemonade stand. Even if you don't drink it, just the purchase makes a kid's whole day.

7. Street cleaner keeps a rose on his trash cart for the most beautiful reason

This video just gets better and better. How could anyone not adore this guy's attitude?

8. A high school choir teacher invited all his former students to join him for one last performance

@watchmaggiepaint

Thank you, Mr. Stanley. When Mr. Stanley retired, he sent out an invite to all his old students, inviting us to come sing and be directed by him for one last day. I blocked it in my calendar and didn't work a wedding, specifically so I could go to my small home town and sing for one last time with all the people I grew up knowing. It was so emotional. So many memories flooded back, we had the strongest choral program of a town our size, all because of Stanley. Many of us became artists and mysicians professionally. Reuniting and seeing the life path of each former student was wild. SHOUTOUT to Lisa for the solo, she is amazing. #mrhollandsopus #choralmusic #teacher #inspiring

Teachers are the best. And that soloist—phew! Yay, Mr. Stanley and all the lives you've made better with music.

9. People's slow-motion reactions to a squirrel scampering by at a baseball game are hilarious

Like, have they never seen a squirrel before? (I'm reminded of my Australian brother-in-law who literally had never seen a squirrel in real life and was completely enamored with them in our yard when visiting. Enamored, not terrified.)

10. A life lesson from a wee one: When someone tells you to walk, dance instead

That kid's got soul. What a cutie.

Hope that contributed a little bit to your personal sense of bliss! If you'd like to receive these posts weekly in your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

Happy long weekend, everyone!