The Crucial Difference Between 'Free Speech' and 'Consequence-Free Speech'
Do you have a right to say terrible things? Of course. Just don't act all shocked when other people excercise their right to call you out for doing so.
Those who give back get so much in return.
Larissa Gummy was first introduced to the work of the Peace Corps in high school. All it took was seeing a few photos shared by her ninth-grade teacher, a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, to know that one day, she would follow in those footsteps.
This inspiration eventually led Larissa away from her home in Minnesota to Rwanda in East Africa, to give back to her family’s country of origin and pursue her passion for international development. Though her decision confused her parents at first, they’re now proud and excited to see what their daughter has accomplished through her volunteer work.
And just what was that work? Well, it changed from day to day, but it all had to do with health.
Mostly, Larissa worked for Rwanda’s First 1,000 Days Health project, which aims to improve the conditions that affect the mortality rate of kids within the first 1,000 days of being born (or almost three years old). These conditions include hygiene, nutrition, and prevention of childhood diseases like malaria and acute respiratory infections (ARI). Addressing malnutrition was a particular focus, as it continues to cause stunted growth in 33% of Rwandan children under the age of five.
In partnership with the local health center, Larissa helped with vaccination education, led nutrition classes, offered prenatal care to expecting mothers, and helped support health education in surrounding communities. Needless to say—she stayed busy with a variety of tasks.
But what she also liked to focus on was her personal project: one that aimed to help mothers find ways to provide their kids with proper nutrition. One idea she worked on was to start a savings fund that would allow mothers to buy chickens, which in turn would continuously provide a source of much-needed protein through eggs.
She fell in love with the beauty of Rwanda from the warm interactions she shared with its people. Not least of which being Marcella, aka Mama Kuku, Larissa’s “counterpart,” a local community member who worked alongside her as a cultural liaison. But after welcoming Larissa into her home, teaching her to cook, celebrating multiple holidays…Mama Kuku truly became an extended family member.
“She’s literally my favorite person,” Larissa gushed.
And while Larissa had dedicated a lot of time to nutritional education, she learned a few invaluable lessons herself.
“The Peace Corps has taught me that I am a lot stronger than I think I am,” she shared.
Larissa also added how traveling helped her, and can help anyone, get to know a different part of themselves and expand their worldview. All pretty handy skills, if you ask us.
“If you're thinking about [joining the Peace Corps] you should do it. Challenge yourself. It'll be worth it.”Does reading this generate a little buzz of excitement, or pique your curiosity? The Peace Corps has immersive and fulfilling opportunities in over 60 countries. Learn more about becoming a Volunteer here.
These powerful before-and-after photos reveal just how beautiful aging can be.
Czech photographer Jan Langer's portrait series "Faces of Century" shows them in a different light: as human beings aged by years of experience, but at their deepest level, unchanged by the passing of time.
In the series, Langer juxtaposes his portraits with another portrait of the subject from decades earlier. He recreates the original pose and lighting as closely as he can — he wants us to see them not just as they are now, but how they have and haven't changed over time. That is the key to the series.
These are the rare faces of people who have lived through two world wars, a cavalcade of regimes, and the rush of advancements in modern life. These photos, and the stories of the lives lived by the people in them, show not only the beauty of aging, but how even as we age, we still remain essentially ourselves.
Vejdělek is a former metallurgical engineer who will never forget the taste of warm fresh goat's milk.
Originally born in Merano, Italy, Köhlerová wishes to visit Italy one more time.
Chybík is a former postal carrier and says he will never forget the route he worked every day.
Jetelina spent eight years in prison after World War II. Now, he just wants to live the rest of his life in peace.
Fejfarová burned all her material memories, including old photographs, when she decided to move to a long-term care facility. She lived a dramatic life, hiding from the Nazis and then the Russians, but eventually she was able to travel the world with her husband. Her experiences show there's no such thing as too late in life to start a new chapter.
Kovář is a former musician whose daughter comes to visit him every day. He wishes to play the clarinet once more.
Vašinová will always remember the day her husband was taken away by the Nazis. She wishes to be reunited with him after death.
Spáčil was an electrical engineer throughout his life and thinks that it's too early in his life to think about the past.
Pochobradská was a farmer. She now lives a quiet life and is thankful that her daughter visits her every weekend.
Baldrman was a clerk early in life and keeps up with current events by reading the newspaper.
Burešová loves talking to her family and wishes to have them all together again.
Čížková cooked in the dining room at the airport in the small village of Vodochody. She'll never forget reciting her own poetry at wedding ceremonies.
Vysloužilová stays active every day by chopping wood, shoveling snow, and doing work around her house.
The photographer Langer was initially inspired to document the lives of elderly people because of what he saw as the media's lack of coverage of them. He decided to focus on people over the age of 100 — a very rare demographic indeed. The 2010 U.S. Census reported only 53,364 centenarians, which is only 0.19% of the population of people 70 years or older.
“One should live every single moment according to their best knowledge and conscience because one day we will see clearly what has a real value," Langer says of what he learned from his subjects while photographing them.
The series was originally part of a story that Langer did for the Czech news outlet aktuálně.cz. You can see more photos from the portrait sessions by following the link.
This article originally appeared on 12.08.17.
"You know what... This might just work."
There's the old cliché, desperate times call for desperate measures and one woman decided it was time to pull out all the stops. Well, sort of. Karolina Geits was annoyed with dating sites when she and her friends came up with the joke of walking around New York City with a sign that reads, "looking for a husband."
The sign isn't something fancy that they printed up at Office Depot or something. It's just a piece of cardboard with black sharpie writing. Geits, who is a model, debuted the sign in July, racking up more than 6.4 million views on TikTok. Since striking virility, she's taken to filming herself with some pretty eyebrow raising signs.
People walking along the streets seem to be a mixture of confused and amused by these silly signs, which sometimes actually result in money. One of her signs, "need money for a Birkin" had onlookers giggling and some folks forgetting they were in New York traffic while craning their necks to...read her sign. I'm sure.
In one video Geits is sitting on a park bench surrounded by balloons designed to look like dogs. While actual dogs stop to sniff the curious pets she's holding the leash to, the model holds up a sign that reads, "these are the only pets I can afford." She doesn't stop at just sitting on the bench with her inflatable best friends, she takes them out into the park for a walk while people look at her confused.
Geits, has a sign looking for a sugar daddy, asking strangers to marry her, and declaring that she is in fact fashion. One of her most recent strolls through New York City looking for a husband garnered more than 11 million views. By the end of that video, some lucky guy swooped her off her feet. Pretty sure they're married now and she's just looking for a spare. They seemed pretty happy together after meeting .3 seconds beforehand.
Commenters can't believe her results.
"If this is the result then I just might try it," one woman writes.
"You know what... This might just work lol," another says.
"At this point I need to do the same thing. Lol," someone comments.
"You know what... let me go get me some art supplies lmao," one person writes.
Well, it does seem to be effective in gaining the attention of attractive men, even the ones clearly sitting with their partners. There were quite a few women gripping their partner's arm and giving them death stares. It's all in good fun, but check out those reactions below.
It was the largest such event ever filmed.
They were in Greenland, gathering footage from the time-lapse they'd positioned all around the Arctic Circle for the last several years.
They were also there to shoot scenes for a documentary. And while they were hoping to capture some cool moments on camera, no one expected a huge chunk of a glacier to snap clean off and slide into the ocean right in front of their eyes.
A glacier falls into the sea.
Massive swells created by large chunks of glacier falling away.
For nearly an hour and 15 minutes, Balog and his crew stood by and watched as a piece of ice the size of lower Manhattan — but with ice-equivalent buildings that were two to three times taller than that — simply melted away.
A representation demonstrating the massive size of ice that broke off into the sea.
As far as anyone knows, this was an unprecedented geological catastrophe and they caught the entire thing on tape. It won't be the last time something like this happens either.
Balog had a reputation since the early 1980s as a conservationist and environmental photographer. And for nearly 20 years, he'd scoffed at the climate change heralds shouting, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
"I didn't think that humans were capable of changing the basic physics and chemistry of this entire, huge planet. It didn't seem probable, it didn't seem possible," he explained in the 2012 documentary film "Chasing Ice."
There was too much margin of error in the computer simulations, too many other pressing problems to address about our beautiful planet. As far as he was concerned, these melodramatic doomsayers were distracting from the real issues.
That was then.
The glacier ice continues to erode away.
He was sent on a photo expedition of the Arctic by National Geographic, and that first northern trip was more than enough to see the damage for himself.
"It was about actual tangible physical evidence that was preserved in the ice cores of Greenland and Antarctica," he said in a 2012 interview with ThinkProgress. "That was really the smoking gun showing how far outside normal, natural variation the world has become. And that's when I started to really get the message that this was something consequential and serious and needed to be dealt with."
Some of that evidence may have been the fact that more Arctic landmass has melted away in the last 20 years than the previous 10,000 years.
This article originally appeared on 11.04.15
She had to know the truth.
A woman, 35, and her husband, 38, had been married for 10 years and during that time became good friends with a neighbor in her 20s. Two years after they met the neighbor she had a son. She said the father wasn’t in the son’s life because he was a one-night fling.
The woman had health issues, so the couple happily took care of the child when she was in the hospital. Sadly, the woman died when the child was young, so the couple became his foster parents and legally adopted him at the age of 7.
Years later, when their adopted son was 10, and their biological child was 5, the mother noticed that both children looked a lot alike. “Now that they are 10 and 5 years old and they looked so much like each other that I begin to have suspicions,” the woman wrote on the Reddit Relationship Advice subforum.
So, she secretly had the adopted son's DNA tested.
When the results came back, the woman found out that her children were half brothers. Her husband had cheated on her with the neighbor who passed away. In a strange set of circumstances, the man adopted his son. After learning the truth about her son and husband, the wife was beside herself.
“I don't know how I should act. I am so angry and feel so humiliated, but I love the three of them so much. I feel like I am just a tool and that my dignity was stepped upon,” she wrote on the forum.
To make things worse, she still loves her husband. She said that he was “never abusive” and was a “good husband” and a “good father.”
“It feels like I was not a mother but an idiot who was used like a babysitter for his child,” the woman wrote. “How am I supposed to react? Should I tell them the truth and try to cancel the adoption? Should I divorce him? Am I right to feel like it, or am I a monster to see this child as the source of my humiliation?”
A depressed woman.
The post received 110 comments, and the most popular urged her to ask herself the big questions. Do you want to raise both boys? Do you want to stay married? Do you feel like he will slight you again in some way?
I think one question you need to consider is, Do you want to raise both boys? Setting aside whether or not your husband is involved, understand that the child is blameless and isn't responsible for his parentage. Deciding what you want to do regarding the child is important. Also note that it isn't wrong to decide that you can't handle taking care of this child. Only you know if you have the capacity to raise the child, knowing where he comes from. If you decide that you can't, it is better to not try, and end up conveying all the upset you are feeling to him.
The other question is, Do you want to stay married? There can be various reasons for and against divorce. Only you can decide which ones matter most to you.
A related question is, Do you feel he will slight you again in some way? You talk about your dignity being stepped on. Is he often acting that way in many things? Was this a one-time thing? Do you think he is likely to do it again? Knowing this will help you answer the prior question.
Trying to break down all the things you are struggling with into separate ideas may help you get some control over it.
The woman’s final words on her situation were that she couldn’t resolve to hate her husband or the adopted child and that her husband’s infidelity was the only thing that made her feel hesitant about him. Further, she is legally bound to the adopted child and couldn’t leave him regardless. But sadly, even though it appears she will stay in the situation, she feels like she has no choice. “I feel trapped,” she wrote.
Upworthy has reached out to the woman for an update on her story. We will update this story if she responds.
Nostalgic, relatable and poignant all at the same time.
There comes a point in every person’s life when the toys, games, fantasy books, cartoons, all start to take up less space in our lives. Partially because of naturally changing interests, and also due to the responsibilities of adulthood setting in.parenthood, and he is ready to sing its praises.
“You literally get to relive your childhood through play with them,” Andrew says as he lists some of his favorite staples, once only memories and now current pastimes with his son.
Things like playing with Play-Doh (can’t you instantly recall that distinct Play-doh smell?), shooting How Wheels cars down a plastic track, enjoying a swing set, and watching Pokémon.
Not only does it bring out his own inner child, Andrew, reflects, it also helps him connect with his son over shared interests.
“You get to watch this person that’s never experienced this thing that you loved start to love it themselves,” he reflects. “It’s awesome.”
@parental_with_me It’s a daily dose of nostalgia shared with little humans you love #dadtok #dadtoks #parentsoftiktok #parenting #dadlife #momtok #momsoftiktok #dadsoftiktok #momlife @LEGO @Play-Doh @Hot Wheels ♬ Lofi Hip Hop - Danyko Beats Kream
Andrew’s video soon went viral on TikTok, and other parents couldn't help but share their own experiences of these “unsing benefits.”
“Halloween, Christmas, zoos, children’s museums, arcade, fireworks, everything that maybe lost a little magic as an adult gets all the magic back,” one person wrote.
Another added, “When my husband learned our two-year-old is in LOVE with Pokémon, never seen this man more happy and excited!”
One person even illustrated how the experience can be very healing for those whose parents never actually played with them, writing, , “Honestly aside from the OCCASIONAL game of monopoly as a family I don’t really remember my parents playing with me. My son will know different.”
In a follow-up video, Andrews noted that while of course these activities can be enjoyed for folks who wish to remain childless, the point he was trying to make is that there’s a different flavor of bliss that happens through the lens of being a parent.
@parental_with_me Replying to @Bingelyte Some quick thoughts on the ‘i can play all these as an adult without a kid’ crowd #dadtok #dadtoks #parentsoftiktok #parenting #dadlife #momtok #momsoftiktok #momsoftiktok #dadsoftiktok #momlife ♬ original sound - Andrew
“It's less about how you're feeling about playing it as an adult and it's more about seeing them and how much they enjoy it and being a part of that experience for them” he said.
There is something to be said about sharing the experience with little humans who view the world in such a different way, which reminds us not only of what pure innocence actually feels like, but the divine gift of harboring the next generation of humanity. That’s undeniably special.
Here’s to all of us having the opportunity to see through the eyes of a child again. Be it through our own children, through nieces and nephews, through kids groups, or simply by busting out the toys without a second glance.
"His response is exactly what we need in politics today."
People are applauding the way Matthew McConaughey refused to be reduced down to the partisan label of “anti-gun” during a recent guest appearance on “The View.”
McConaughey had initially been brought on the show to discuss his new children’s book, “Just Because,” but host Sunny Hostin later praised the actor for being “so outspoken against violence, and gun violence in particular,” referencing his previous impassioned speech in the aftermath of the Robb Elementary School shooting.Hostin then asked McConaughey if he had given any more thought to holding a political office. Previously in 2021 the actor publicly announced considering running for governor of the state of Texas, but then decided to focus on his family.
“If it’s where I would deem myself most useful, yes,” he responded. “Right now, I want to be most useful as a father.”
Co-host Joy Behar then followed up with “Do you think you could get elected in Texas being anti-gun?”
Fully processing the question by repeating it to himself, “Do I think I could get elected in Texas being anti-gun?” McConaughey then delivers a tactful response.
“One thing about me and politics,” he said, pointing a finger at Behar, “to give you a direct statement right there, is me playing a game I’m not interested in playing.”
Behar has no choice but to surrender the conversation. “Ok, don’t do it.”
The moment happened towards the tail end of the video. Watch below.
Most of us would probably agree that in general, politicians and their media cohorts focus too much on stirring up controversy and not enough on having solution oriented conversations. So hearing someone actually put their foot down against it was refreshing, to say the least.
Here’s what other viewers had to say:
“The trap was there and he didn't play. Very well done. Matthew is smarter than most people realize. And I highly respect the focus on his children and family... because that's where mine is.”
“His response to Joy is exactly what we need in politics today.”
“Way to go Matthew so much turmoil in our media everyday.”
“I loved the way this man disagreed with Joy, respectfully, staying authentically himself. He's not into being pushed into anything and will speak when he's ready.”
It was such a brief exchange, but really spoke volumes to how systems are put in place to keep up in cycles of animosity. It takes consciousness and will power to not play “the game.” But it might be the very thing we need to create lasting change.