The powerful prayer the pope offered at the border that left thousands speechless.

This is the sight that reduced 200,000 people to awed silence yesterday.

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It was Pope Francis, laying a bouquet of flowers at a memorial near the Rio Grande, where thousands of migrants have died trying to cross into the United States — nearly 6,000 from 2000 to 2014.

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"No more death! No more exploitation!" the pope said, as hundreds of thousands looked on — on both sides of the border.

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Of course, not everyone was happy. Earlier in the week, Donald Trump accused the pope of politicizing his visit to Mexico.

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He also suggested that Mexico was using the pope to try to maintain the status quo at the border because they ... make a lot of money off it? Somehow?

The Vatican (obviously) denied this.

Thing is, Trump was right — at least about one thing.

Praying at the border in Mexico was political, and Pope Francis knew exactly what he was doing.

Photo by Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images.

But not political in the way we typically mean "political" in the U.S.

Much as it makes us feel weirdly good about ourselves to presume everything is all about us all the time, this time, it's not. Most likely, Pope Francis couldn't care less about Republican versus Democrat.

The pope cares about people not being exploited and not dying.

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"Each step, a journey laden with grave injustices: the enslaved, the imprisoned and extorted; so many of these brothers and sisters of ours are the consequence of trafficking in human beings," he said at the border.

At a separate mass on Wednesday, the pope declared, "The flow of capital cannot decide the flow of people." He decried "the exploitation of employees as if they were objects to be used and discarded."

It's a pretty simple message.

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The pope wants us to prioritize people over profit. He wants companies to stop taking advantage of immigrant workers with low wages. He wants gangs to stop killing and maiming, forcing thousands to flee their homes. He wants the drug trade to cease in its current, violent form, so that the gangs don't need to kill and maim in the first place.

And if all else fails, and greed and violence continue to uproot communities around the world, he wants people on all sides of every border to treat migrants with compassion and dignity.

Whether you're pro- or anti-immigration, we can all agree that treating people compassionately is important.

And we can all agree that, in a more just, more humane world, there'd be fewer bodies and lost lives to mourn. If that's because we learn to welcome them with open arms, great. If that's because we commit to lifting them out of poverty so that they don't need to flee their homes in the first place?

Even better.

Photo by Yuri Cortez/Getty Images.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.