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This episode of Aziz Ansari's TV show holds 5 beautiful truths about Thanksgiving.

'Master of None' taught us all how to be a bit more grateful.

If there is one show worth watching ahead of the holidays, it's the "Thanksgiving" episode of the critically acclaimed "Master of None" Netflix series.

[rebelmouse-image 19469851 dam="1" original_size="480x199" caption=""Thanksgiving" warmed the hearts and minds of people around the country." expand=1]"Thanksgiving" warmed the hearts and minds of people around the country.

Released this summer, the episode was so touching and thought-provoking that its writer, Lena Waithe, made history in becoming the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing.  


Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

The episode follows queer character Denise Watkins (Lena Waithe) and her coming-out story through decades of Thanksgivings with her family.

There are a lot of things that made this episode great. From watching Catherine, Denise's mom (Angela Bassett), capture many familiar aspects of black motherhood to Dev (Aziz Ansari) and Denise’s unbreakable friendship to a rare happy ending for a black queer couple in love, "Master of None" gave us a heartwarming story centered around queer black culture not often seen on screen.

Here are five important lessons from "Thanksgiving" that viewers should take into the holiday season.

1. Friendship is truly the key to life.

Denise and Dev’s decades-long friendship showed the importance of friends who love us through all the highs and lows.

Dev’s annual appearance at the family’s Thanksgiving dinner was an important tradition to the family. It gave Dev an opportunity to see and understand Denise for who she truly was and to be a source of refuge for her as she began dating in front of her family. Without Dev’s support, Denise’s coming-out experience may have been very different, and it’s clear that having Dev as a presence at the house was vital to her feeling comfortable with her family.    

2. Queer people fall in love, fall out of love, and love again, just like everyone else.  

"Master of None" is one of the few public representations of queer love between two women that isn't overly dramatic, doesn't involve cheating, and didn’t end with one of the characters dying.

These queer female characters have values, jobs, preferences, desires, and, well, you know, human complexities. In "Thanksgiving," Michelle and Denise's breakup (despite still being in love) was representative of an experience many queer women go through on the quest to find their match.

Michelle and Denise were a rare — and necessary — representation of female queer couples of color. Image from "Master of None."

Not all women are the best romantic partners, and queer women do in fact sometimes date women who are ultimately not a good fit. Queer women also sometimes date women who are terrible and hurtful or simply not compatible, just as straight women date men like this. The quest for love is difficult for most people, queer or not, and "Thanksgiving" gave us one of the most authentic representations of that journey.    

3. Changing hearts and minds takes time, and that’s OK.  

In a perfect world, everyone would be understanding, empathetic to others' experiences, and everyone could be unapologetically themselves.

"Thanksgiving" shows viewers that while this isn’t typically the case initially, change is possible. It appeared Denise may never feel comfortable bringing a committed partner home to the family after her mom and aunt’s didn't react great to her girlfriend, Michelle...

[rebelmouse-image 19469854 dam="1" original_size="480x196" caption="GIF from "Master of None."" expand=1]GIF from "Master of None."

But by the third Thanksgiving after coming out, Michelle was plating cornbread and joking with Denise’s mother. We are all human, and some people take longer than others to adjust to change. In this episode, viewers find that giving people a chance — and a little bit of time — can often change hearts and minds.    

4. Our families aren’t perfect, but they are ours.

Families are complicated. Between different views, complex pasts, and relative resentments, family gatherings can be a difficult place, having to engage with all these various components. Still, our family is our family. While we certainly shouldn't exempt hatred and bigotry, nor surround ourselves with problematic people just because we're related by blood, if there's room for growth, embrace it.

A family that works through things together is a gift.

5. Find gratitude — even in the little things.  

[rebelmouse-image 19469855 dam="1" original_size="735x306" caption="Image from "Master of None."" expand=1]Image from "Master of None."

Food. Shelter. Friends. Family. A job. A car. That really good coffee you grabbed on the way to Thanksgiving dinner.  

It’s no secret that 2017 has been a challenging year. Attacks on LGBTQ people have spiked, public policy decisions have been put in place that undermine policies meant to support the most vulnerable, and immigrants, Muslims, and people of color have been under increased scrutiny in society.  

We can't ignore these realities, but we must take stock of all the good things that have happened and will continue to happen. Activists are continuing to fight for equality, minorities are continuing to shine in the face of oppression, and people are continuing to live their best lives on their own terms.

A grateful heart can do a lot more than an ungrateful one.

This Thanksgiving, follow the Watkins family and enjoy good food, good laughs, and a good holiday.  

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

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For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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