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This amazing photo of a boy at an anti-gay march went viral for all the right reasons.

It's not the size of the man, but the strength of his gesture that matters.

This amazing photo of a boy at an anti-gay march went viral for all the right reasons.

On Sept. 10, 2016, a young boy faced off against thousands of anti-gay-marriage protestors.

Image by Manuel Rodriguez for Regeneración, used with permission.

Journalist Manuel Rodriguez captured this amazing photo during a Frente Nacional por la Familia march in Celaya, Guanajuato, in central Mexico. Frente Nacional is a nationwide pro-family organization that essentially condemns same-sex marriages.


Rodriguez says he initially thought the boy was just goofing around when he saw him stand in front of the crowd with his arms out.

But when Rodriguez interviewed the boy, who's about 12, the boy told him he has a gay uncle. He said he doesn't like the hatred his uncle faces from people like the ones he faced head-on in that march.

A sea of people march in the event held in Guadalajara, Mexico. Image by Hector Guerrero/Getty Images.

It's important to remember that the "machista" mentality unfortunately still runs rampant in Mexico.

Homophobia remains a big problem among Latino men, many of whom feel a cultural expectation to be the big, strong head of the household — something they feel is stereotypically contrary to gay culture.

But this incredible image is certainly one that speaks a thousand words. It shows that the younger generation is bringing a more open and accepting mentality into the mix in Mexico.

Yes, hate is a strong emotion. But love is even stronger. And it's love that made this boy take this huge stand against thousands of people.

We're born without judgments. And it's only after we begin to understand the world around us that we form prejudices and preconceived notions about people who lead different lifestyles than those we're used to seeing.

So let's lift this boy up as an example of what it means to choose love over hate.

To me, his grand gesture is proof that there's inherent good and acceptance in all of us. And that's worth celebrating.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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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.