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These stories of kindness and generosity will de-Grinch even the hardest of hearts

When it seems like the whole world has gone mad, we need reminders that people are generally good. That humanity trumps inhumanity. That kindness and generosity are the rule, not the exception.

Naturally, anyone can point to stories of inhumanity and cruelty to negate such a positive worldview, but even in those stories, there are almost always examples of people doing the right thing, the kind thing, the just thing. When we shift our gaze to the people doing good, we find oodles of them.


Writer Lauren Hough shared one such story on Twitter, and a veritable deluge of faith-boosting stories followed. Hough's story alone was uplifting, but seeing example after example of ordinary people going out of their way to lend a helping hand to strangers, asking nothing in return, is enough to soften even the Grinch-iest of hearts.

RELATED: This mom's viral story of strangers' kindness illustrates how it truly 'takes a village.'

Hough wrote:

"One register open. This lady couldn't get her wic card to work and I shit you not, every single person in line behind her tried to pay the bill. Dude in front of me won. And pulled out an extra $100 to give her. In case you needed to know, a lot of people are actually alright."

"No one even made a big deal about it. It was like they didn't want witnesses," she added in another tweet. "But I mean, it's the shopping at midnight on a Monday crowd, mostly people who've been there."

Then the stories, both from people who've been there and those who haven't, poured in.

One woman wrote about how, when she was around nine, a woman bought her a lime green shimmer hat she'd been admiring but didn't have the money for.

While a former Dollar General employee wrote about how a kid's card wasn't working one day, so the guy in line behind him paid for it.

Indeed, those who have been through periods of poverty are often the first to help others because they know how it feels to be in their shoes.


Several people shared pharmacy stories of both customers and pharmacists themselves helping pay for people's medicine.



Another person shared how a couple of police officers buy food for homeless people, even asking the person to make sure they "pick good ones."

"Everybody counts, or nobody does," they added, which seems to sum up the sentiment in the entire thread.

RELATED: An Irish school is ditching homework for a month, assigning 'acts of kindness' instead

And another person shared how a stranger stuck up for them when someone was criticizing them for being on public benefits.

How about this teenage boy buying flowers and cake to surprise his mom? "His debit card wouldn't work," wrote Aloysius Olberding. "Mind did."

Another user shared how a homeless man asked if he could buy her husband's coat, and he gave it to the man instead. That story inspired another person to load up their car with old coats to give away.

Even those who appear to be Grinches can surprise us, as this story of a scowling man paying for someone's lunch without a word shows.

When we're going through a difficult time, random acts of kindness can feel particularly reassuring. These two people had lost a parent and had strangers pay for their meals. "Everything felt alright, even if just for a moment," one wrote.

Though generosity means not expecting anything in return, sometimes karma steps in and rewards people anyway. One person shared how their significant other used $200 he'd saved for a tool to buy groceries for a mom and three kids in need. A few days later, the tool he'd wanted fell out of a truck in front of him, and no one ever claimed it.

But the real beauty of generosity and kindness are how they get paid forward. It's like a perpetual chain of goodness that just keeps going and going and going.

As "The Angry Academic" points out, "Politics is f*cked but we gonna be alright."

Yes we are. Faith in humanity restored.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


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As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

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Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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