“A balm for the soul”
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# They compared Wall Street bonuses to the total earnings of every minimum wage worker. Oh, it's sad.

## In 2014, Wall Street bonuses totaled \$28.5 billion.

First, congratulations, Wall Street! I'm sure you really earned each and every dollar. Now let's break that down to a figure the rest of us can wrap our heads around. According to the New York State comptroller, Wall Street employees (167,800 of them, to be exact) received an average bonus of \$172,860.

My math put it at just shy of \$170,000, but when you're rolling like that, what's a few thousand dollars? Especially considering this figure doesn't include their salaries, which are almost certainly very generous. But hey, they're doing God's work.

## Meanwhile, in the vast land of minimum wages, a million workers earned about half as much as Wall Street made in bonuses alone.

The average Wall Street bonus is three times higher than the median U.S. household income.

While those 1 million minimum wage employees also include tipped workers who are probably earning more than the federal minimum, let's be real: A server's earnings are a far cry from a six-figure bonus on top of a six-figure salary.

## \$28.5 billion would be more than enough to pay living wages to millions of low-wage workers.

### If the term "living wage" is new to you, here's the short of it:

A living wage is "an approximate income needed to meet a family's basic needs." Today's minimum wage doesn't even come close. According to MIT's living wage calculator website:

"The minimum wage does not provide a living wage for most American families. A typical family of four (two working adults, two children) needs to work more than 3 full-time minimum-wage jobs (a 68-hour work week per working adult) to earn a living wage."

### Putting more money in the pockets of low-wage workers does more for the overall economy than Wall Street bonuses.

Before we dig in, try to put yourself in the shoes of a Wall Street worker. What are you going to buy with that \$170,000 bonus? Remember, this is just extra cash on top of your salary, and all of your basic needs are well taken care of. And how much of it are you actually going to spend? Got some stuff in mind? OK, hold that thought.

Now, put yourself in the shoes of a minimum wage worker. What are you going to buy with that paycheck? Remember, housing costs will put a big dent in your finances. Then there's your utilities, and you have to eat, right? Oh, and if you have a family, it's probably dwindling even more quickly. See where I'm going with this?

The Institute for Policy Studies writes:

"Wall Street bonus season may coincide with an uptick in luxury goods sales, but a raise in the minimum wage would give America's economy a much greater boost. To meet basic needs, low-wage workers tend to spend nearly every dollar they make. The wealthy can afford to squirrel away more of their earnings. All those dollars low-wage workers spend create an economic ripple effect."

## What would happen if that \$28.5 billion went to low-wage workers instead?

We already know that minimum wages are barely, if at all, providing the lowest earners with what they need to get by. A modest boost in their wages from the federal minimum of \$7.25 to \$15 an hour would allow them to more fully meet their needs, and that spending would stimulate the economy.

The person with an extra \$170,000 on hand isn't likely to spend it all because, well, there's only so much a human being needs. Sure, that might fund a vacation home, a boat, maybe some expensive trinkets — but for the most part, it just becomes accumulated wealth. And stockpiled cash does nothing for the economy.

"Every extra dollar going into the pockets of a high-income American only adds about \$0.39 to the GDP. By contrast, every extra dollar going into the pockets of low-wage workers adds about \$1.21 to the national economy. These pennies add up considerably on \$28.5 billion in earnings."

Considerably, indeed. A wage increase totaling \$28.5 billion to minimum wage workers would boost the country's gross domestic product by three times as much as the same amount going to people who are already well-off, like Wall Street employees.

## Raising the minimum wage to a living wage serves everyone's interests — even the short-sighted people who would argue otherwise.

And lastly, consider this: Those massive Wall Street bonuses? Those are rewards for exactly the kind of risky decisions that tanked the economy in 2008. Doesn't that seem a little backward for a country that says it values an honest day's work?

Family

## School is back in session. Here are 5 simple lunch ideas to keep you sane while you keep your family healthy.

### With O Organics, it's easy.

Yes, school lunches CAN be easy, healthy and inexpensive.

Parents, let’s face it: prepping school lunches can feel like trying to solve a complex math equation. It's got to be nutritious, appealing, fast, and let's not forget…within budget. But what if we told you there’s a secret weapon that can make this whole ordeal a breeze? Enter: O Organics from Albertsons.

O Organics offers a wide range of affordable, USDA organic goodies that are perfect for school lunches. From crunchy apple slices to delicious, creamy greek yogurt, they've got you covered. Plus, their prices won’t break the bank, proving that healthy eating doesn’t have to be a luxury.

Now, let’s get down to the good stuff: the food! Here are some simple, kid (and wallet) friendly lunch ideas—made entirely with O Organics ingredients—to help you ditch the processed junk and give your kids the fuel they need to conquer the classroom:

• Main: A cold pasta salad made with O Organics whole-grain rotini pasta, O Organics chopped vegetables (like cucumbers, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes), and Italian dressing. Add protein with chickpeas or a three bean blend.
• Side: O Organics apple slices.
• Snack: A serving of O Organics Greek yogurt, with some granola for a fun topping.

• Main: A sandwich using whole wheat bread filled with a mixture of O Organics hard boiled eggs, mayo (or Greek yogurt for extra protein), mustard, dill, onion powder, salt and pepper.
• Side:O Organics tortilla chips and salsa.
• Snack: A pack of O Organics fruit strips.

3. Peanut Butter Apple Wrap (great for toddlers)

• Main:O Organics peanut butter spread on a couple of flour soft taco tortillas, topped with thinly sliced apples. Drizzle some O Organics honey, roll it up and voila!
• Side:O Organics baby-cut carrots with a side of hummus.
• Snack:O Organics cottage cheese.

• Main: A tortilla filled with O Organics Mexican Style Shredded Cheese, black beans, and a sprinkle of chili powder.
• Side: A couple of hard boiled O Organics eggs.
• Snack: Ants on a log.

5. A Hot Dog…that stays hot

• Main: You know the drill. Hot dog (we recommended the O Organics Beef Franks). Mustard. Cheese. Bun.
• Side: A colorful side salad with spring mix, cherry tomatoes, and vinaigrette dressing.
• Snack:O Organics banana chips.

But how the heck do you keep the hot dog hot? We’ve got just the tip, courtesy of Allrecipes.com:

Step 1

• Preheat an insulated beverage container by filling it with boiling water. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Right before leaving, dump out water and replace with more boiling water. The preheating keeps it hot for a longer time. Place the hot dog into the water and close the lid.

Step 2

• When your child is ready for lunch, they can take the hot dog out of the container and place it on the bun.

Remember: This list is just a starting point. You can totally customize it to your kid’s needs and preferences. You can even involve your kiddos in the lunch-packing process to make it more fun for everyone. Let them help choose the menu, make a shopping list, pack their lunches…even grow their own veggies! If you’re feeling ambitious, that is.

No matter how you choose to give your kids the best possible start to their day, making small changes and taking advantage of resources like O Organics can help make it happen in a sustainable and enjoyable way.

So, what are you waiting for? Shop O Organics now exclusively at Albertsons, Safeway or any sister store. Your kids' bodies (and taste buds) will thank you.

Family

## Millennial mom asks her own mom about raising a kid in the 80s and is mortified

### "What did you do without Google?!"

@thedailytay/TikTok

"My anxiety could not have handled the 80s."

Raising kids is tough no matter what generation you fall into, but it’s hard to deny that there was something much simpler about the childrearing days of yesteryear, before the internet offered a million and one ways that parents could be—and probably are—doing it all very, very wrong.

Taylor Wolfe, a millennial mom, exemplifies this as she asks her own mother a series of rapid-fire questions about raising her during the 80s and the stark contrast in attitudes becomes blatantly apparent.

### First off, Wolfe can’t comprehend how her mom survived without being able to Google everything. (Not even a parent, but I feel this.)

“Everything! For starters, poop!” Wolfe says. “Cause you have to know if the color is an okay color, if it's healthy!”

“I was a nursing mom, so if the poop came out green, it was because I ate broccoli,” her mom responds.

…Okay, fair point. But what about handy gadgets like baby monitors? How did Wolfe’s mom keep her kid alive without one?

“I was the monitor, going in and feeling you,” she says.

@thedailytay My anxiety would have hated the 80s. Or maybe loved it? IDK! #fyp #millennialsontiktok #parenttok #momsoftiktok #comedyvid ♬ original sound - TaylorWolfe

Could it really be that easy? It was for Wolfe’s mom, apparently. Rather than relying on technology, she simply felt her child and adjusted accordingly.

“If you were hot, you slept in a diaper. If you were cold, you had a blanket around you.” Done and done.

Wolfe then got into more existential questions, asking her mom if she ever felt the stress of “only having 18 summers” with her child, and how to make the most of it.

Without missing a beat, Wolfe's mother says, “It's summer, I still have you.”

### Going by Wolfe’s mom, the 80s seems like a time with much less pressure.

From feeding her kids McDonald’s fries guilt-free to being spared the judgment of internet trolls, she just sort of did the thing without worrying so much if she was doing it correctly.

That’s nearly impossible in today’s world, as many viewers commented.

“Google just gives us too much information and it scares us,” one person quipped.

Another seconded, “I swear social media has made me wayyyy more of an anxious mom."

Even a professional noted: “As someone who has worked in pediatrics since the 80s, the parents are way more anxious now.”

I don’t think anyone truly wants to go back in time, per se. But many of us are yearning to bring more of this bygone mindset into the modern day. And the big takeaway here: No matter how many improvements we make to life, if the cost is our mental state, then perhaps it’s time to swing the pendulum back a bit.

Joy

## Couple who rescued German shepherd left as 'bear bait' have a message for its previous owners

### The couple found the dog chained up to one side of the house.

@mandy_and_mason/TikTok

Thanks goodness they got to him in time.

On Sept 9th, 2023, Amanda Pidruchney and her husband Darren had arrived at a house to rescue six German shepherds from a seemingly responsible breeder who simply couldn’t continue her program after her husband passed away.

Amanda and Darren told “Newsweek” that their plans were to take the dogs and enter them into Schutzhund competitions, which are popular for the breed. Those plans however got quickly “derailed” when they arrived to find the dogs severely malnourished and in “horrific conditions.”

And it was the runt of the litter, named Dorel, that had the worst treatment of all.

"Dorel was chained up to one side of the house all by himself—no food, no water, filthy with an infected wound—completely unprotected from bears…in a bear-filled area…during bear season.

## In essence, Dorel was “bear bait.”

Even after being rescued and taken to a vet, Dorel’s plight was dire, since he was dealing with a ton of inconclusive, yet serious symptoms, including a dilated colon and inflamed lymph nodes.

But through Amanda and Darren’s tireless efforts, Dorel not only survived, but is now thriving.

## Flash forward to a year later, and Amanda posts another video, where she writes a message in Dorel's POV to his former owner: "What you missed since leaving me chained up as bear bait."

In it we see the amazing dog life Dorel has now—one filled with Christmas light ride, frolicking through spacious backyards, enjoying “endless snuggles,” chomping on toys, going on walks—everything a dog wants and deserves.

Unsurprisingly, the clip quickly racked up millions of views, with a ton of comments showing support.

“Bear bait! Omg my heart broke into a million pieces. Thank you momma for saving him. He deserves the world,” person wrote.

Another echoed, “Australian here: ummm as bear bait is wild! Evil! Thank you for reducing and giving the life this beauty deserves.”

Still another said, “My stomach is turning and my eyes are filled with tears. Love him extra for me. Precious boy.”

Indeed, there are few cruelties as unfathomable as mistreating animals. Thank goodness Amanda and Darren were willing and able to turn Dorel and the other doggos’ lives around.

Darren and Amanda have since reported the breeder, and were able to help rescue the other dogs that were kept there (yes, there were more). Many of course are in dire need of help, particularly vet care, which is why the couple set up a GoFundMe page, which you can check out here.

Pop Culture

## Ryan Reynolds filmed his colonoscopy after losing a bet—it turned out to be 'lifesaving'

### If anyone can motivate people to get this medical procedure done, it's Reynolds.

Sometimes when you lose, you win.

Cancer is serious. Ryan Reynolds is not. Luckily his characteristic sense of humor—along with being true to his word—has helped shine a light on a sobering topic in a fun way.

After apparently losing a bet to friend and “Welcome to Wrexham” co-star Rob McElhenney of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” Reynolds agreed to get a colonoscopy … while broadcasting it to the entire world, of course.

Reynolds is an actor famous for hilarious hijinks. From his intense fictional feud with Hugh Jackman to performing epic pranks on talk shows, he is often the best thing on the internet for a good laugh.

However, he is also not one to shy away from difficult conversations, particularly when it comes to health. So raising awareness about the importance of colonoscopies was, as he quipped, “enough motivation for me to let you in on a camera being shoved up my ass.”

Reynolds might have lost the bet, but his actions paid off. The procedure turned out to be lifesaving.

The video shows the “Free Guy” actor getting the news that an “extremely subtle” polyp was discovered and cut out. Reynolds had previously shown no symptoms.

“I’m not being dramatic,” his doctor told him. “This is exactly why you do this. You are interrupting the natural history of a disease, of something of a process that could have ended up developing into cancer and causing all sorts of problems. Instead, you are not only diagnosing the polyp, you are taking it out.”

Ever the expert marketer, Reynolds smoothly slid in a quick plug for his alcohol brand, joking that “I can’t believe you pumped all that Aviation Gin into my IV. I was out like a light” before thanking the doctor.

Reynolds got his colonoscopy at 45, which is the recommended age to begin routine screenings. Though it’s a preventable cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women combined, and it is predicted to be the top cancer killer for people under 50 by the year 2030.

Because of the inherent invasiveness of the procedure, many people feel uncomfortable even talking about colonoscopies, let alone getting one, despite early detection being so vital. But now, thanks to Reynolds hilariously riffing on his experience, the whole thing might not seem so daunting after all.

Thanks for the delightfully silly PSA, Ryan.

Joy

## Mom tirelessly preps her son for the perfect school picture. He had other ideas.

### Good luck topping this one.

@thedorestantfamily/Instagram

He's a a master of the ol' bait and switch

No parent knows what they're going to get when they open up their kid’s school pictures. Even if they’ve practiced their smile a million times that morning, something could (and let’s face it, probably will) go awry.

But more often than not, these bouts of chaos make for a delightfully entertainment parenting monet.

Just take Vially Dorestant’s word for it.

In a clip posted to her Instagram, Dorestant is seen trying to prep her son Corey for his big picture day happening at preschool the following week.

“Are you gonna smile?” she prompts. Corey replies, “yes!” He even shows off an adorable grin.

Dorestant tries to confirm, “That’s how you’re gonna smile?” Corey, with the same smile, says “yes!”

Because of the magic rule of threes, mom really tries to clench the deal by asking a third time, saying “when they say ‘cheese’ what are you gonna do?”

Corey demonstrates an impressive “cheeeeeese” with a classic tooth-showing smile. So of course Dorestant can feel safe knowing that that’s exactly how he’s gonna do it for picture day.

Spoiler alert: that is NOT how he did it for picture day. But arguably…he did something way better.

Watch:

Um, okay. The pure, unadulterated swagger of this kid. Eyes squinted, one hand in his pocket, the other holding his chin, posed more like he’s coming out with a new hip-hop album than a school portrait. So cool, and so unexpected.

“Nothing could’ve prepared me for the ending 😂😂,” one viewer wrote

Another surmised that “Dad must have gave him a different prep talk 😂😂”

There are even more fun comments where that came from:

“Corey at home: 😁Corey at school: 😏”

“Let him cook”

“Lied straight to your face 🤣”

“These baddies at the playground need to know.”

“Definitely make this a poster size for his graduation party lol!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣”

“Hand in the pocket too, come on man, this the hardest elementary pic of the year 🔥🔥”

“🙌🏾 My boy understood the assignment! 😎🤣❤️🔥”

The greatest part of this story is that Dorestant mainly wanted to practice Corey’s smiling with nhim because she was concerned he would be shy on the day.

“He tends to get shy and freeze up around others,” she told Newsweek. “Since this was his first picture day at a new school, I wanted to ensure he felt comfortable and confident.”

But Corey’s amazing bait and switch became a heart warming lesson.

"As parents, we often feel the need to shield our kids and prepare them for the world, which can make us anxious about their readiness, but we need to trust in their abilities and give them the space to shine on their own.”

Indeed, kids can teach us things too.

Parenting

## A mother's letter on the passing of her young daughter is a must-read on grief, love and loss

### Havi Lev Goldstein left a lifetime of memories in just over two years.

Upworthy is sharing this letter from Myra Sack on the anniversary of the passing of her daughter Havi Lev Goldstein. Loss affects everyone differently and nothing can prepare us for the loss of a young child. But as this letter beautifully demonstrates, grief is not something to be ignored or denied. We hope the honest words and feelings shared below can help you or someone you know who is processing grief of their own. The original letter appeared on 1.20.22. It begins below:

Dear Beauty,

Time is crawling to January 20th, the one-year anniversary of the day you took your final breath on my chest in our bed. We had a dance party the night before. Your posse came over. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, closest friends, and your loving nanny Tia. We sat in the warm kitchen with music on and passed you from one set of arms to another. Everyone wanted one last dance with you. We didn’t mess around with only slow songs. You danced to Havana and Danza Kuduro, too. Somehow, you mustered the energy to sway and rock with each of us, despite not having had anything to eat or drink for six days. That night, January 19th, we laughed and cried and sang and danced. And we held each other. We let our snot and our tears rest on each other’s shoulders; we didn’t wipe any of them away. We ate ice cream after dinner, as we do every night. And on this night, we rubbed a little bit of fresh mint chocolate chip against your lips. Maybe you’d taste the sweetness.

Reggaeton and country music. Blueberry pancakes and ice cream. Deep, long sobs and outbursts of real, raw laughter. Conversations about what our relationships mean to each other and why we are on this earth.

This is grief in our home.

We lost our first-born daughter, Havi Lev Goldstein, on January 20th, 2021, at 9:04am. She died peacefully in our bed, in our arms. She died from a cruel disease called Tay-Sachs, that strips your mind and body of every function over 12-18 months. Havi was two years, four months and sixteen days old when she died.

My husband, Matt Goldstein, and I underwent preconception genetic testing for Tay-Sachs disease. We are both Ashkenazi Jewish, a population that has a higher risk for having a mutation in the gene that causes Tay-Sachs. We took our genetic testing very seriously. My testing results came back showing that I was a carrier; Matt’s results said he was not. Given the autosomal recessive nature of the disease, both parents need to be carriers for the fetus to be at risk of inheriting the disease. Months later, we were pregnant with our first child.

Tragically, Matt received the wrong test, and his carrier status was mis-reported. Matt was in fact, a carrier for Tay-Sachs. 15 months into her life, we learned that our daughter, Havi, was now a victim of this fatal, progressive neurodegenerative disease. In an instant, we were transformed from being not only first-time parents, but now first-time parents of a dying child.

From the date of Havi’s diagnosis, December 17th, 2019, to her death on January 20th, 2021, we followed her lead. She never spoke a word, never walked a single step. But she communicated powerfully through smiles and tears, through the brightness of her eyes and the back-and-forth movements of her head. She loved, deeply. And when you closed your eyes and listened closely, her voice was clear.

Havi taught us that life can be even more beautiful and painful than we ever imagined. And when we live at the edge of that deepest beauty and deepest pain, then everything—our hearts, our world view, our community—will deepen and expand.

We honored Havi’s life every Friday night with family and friends in a celebration that we called Shabbirthday. The word is a combination of Shabbat and Birthday. Havi’s favorite food, the only food that she ever crawled toward, was challah, the braided Jewish bread that we eat every Shabbat. And we knew that her birthdays would be limited to two. That was not enough. We wanted more. So we threw Havi 57 Shabbirthdays before she died. Balloons, cakes, beach walks, fancy dinners, always a challah, and beautiful songs and prayers. We didn’t pretend to be happy on these Shabbirthdays. We weren’t. We were heart broken. We didn’t throw parties to distract or numb the pain. We found moments of beauty and celebration embedded in and between our deepest pain. We knew we needed the love and support of our closest people right there with us, too. And we treated every moment as sacred, not scary. As holy, not superficial.

This is grief in our home.

Since Havi’s death, we continue to honor Shabbirthdays every Friday. Now, we read poems, listen to Cole Swindell’s, ‘You Should Be Here’, and close our eyes tightly to try and recall the feeling of her wrapped tightly in our arms. Sometimes it’s hard to breathe. Sometimes I don’t want to open my eyes at the end of the song. And sometimes, I feel okay. Sometimes I can even smile through the song and cuddle with our beautiful younger daughter, Kaia. Whatever the feelings are, however the anguish of grief is manifesting, I pay attention.

Havi’s story is for anyone who has lost the person they love most in this world; for anyone who has watched someone they love lose their beloved; or for anyone who has yet to be touched by their own tragic loss and is open to learning about what it might feel like for them one day.

For me, Havi’s death is not a one-time event. It happens over and over again every moment she is not where she is supposed to be: Picking out a mismatched set of clothes that look adorable anyway; walking into preschool with her little hand gripping my index finger; pausing between the slides and the swings for a few bites of fig bar at the playground; playing with her little sister who looks up in admiration at her god given best friend. The losses are layered and constant. And they will accrue, every day, and on every missed milestone until the day I die. I’m not sure people understand that about losing a young child.

I think that the only way to be okay is to keep inviting our dead into those spaces, to keep them present in those moments where they should be. And not in a delusional way, either. Only in a way that helps us to create new memories and experiences with them since their life on this earth was so tragically short. Relationships don’t have to end when the physical ends. We don’t need to relegate them to the margins. As our therapist, Dr. Joanne Cacciatore puts it: We keep them right in the front row. From that place, they can participate actively in the life they were meant to have. And we can be proud to include them in it. And they can continue to encourage us to live a life of fullness and in service to others.

Even after only one year on this earth without Havi, my relationship with her has undergone profound and deepening changes. In the same way that relationships in the world of the living require immense attention and constant adjustments, so too, do our relationships with our dead. There are moments when I can still feel the touch of Hav’s softest cheeks against mine and there are also moments when I feel far away from her. There are times when I can hear her voice in my head and in my heart and times when the silence is everywhere even though I’m begging for her to show up.

A lot of this journey is a solitary one but it’s made so much easier when other people in our lives keep Havi present. This looks like so many beautiful things: Havi’s name written in the sand; outfits in the color purple; beautiful sunsets over mountains filled with wild flowers; a glass raised ‘To Hav’ before dinner begins; photographs on a bookshelf; text messages on important dates; acts of kindness in the spirit of a beautiful little girl. We do not need to ‘move on’ and we never will. We want to be joined in existing in the space where love and pain coexist for that is the space where we are closest to Hav. We, we all, can be changed forever by the power of loss. Falling into its embrace can make us more powerful, more productive, more alive, and more human. But that growth is ours to discover and cannot be rushed, or forced.

I wish we were kinder to grieving people. I wish we understood that grief is not scary. Losing Havi is the worst possible thing I could have ever imagined as a new mother. It is tragic and unnatural. But what is natural is to want to keep her close to us, to want to make her proud, to want to make the world better in her name, to want other people to know and love her. Those are all natural, quite beautiful, instincts that keep grieving people feeling like they can be okay and maybe even that they can become bigger and better versions of themselves.

I know my relationship with grief, and with Havi, is going to change many more times in my lifetime. I only hope that there will be more safe places to inhabit my suffering when it does.

Children are not supposed to die before their parents. But they do. And they do in this country, they do in all of our neighborhoods. And there are thousands of children, and their parents, who deserve a dance party filled with deep soulful sobs, uncontrollable laughter, and the rhythm of the music keeping us all on our feet for one more day. Most importantly, they deserve to be remembered.