This grandpa freaking out over his new light-up shoes is just what the world needs.

Sarah Thorne knew her dad had only wanted one thing for the past eight years: a pair of light-up sneakers.

You know, the kind that blink every time you take a step? You may remember them from the hallways of your elementary school.

GIF from Famous Footwear


The only thing stopping her dad from getting a pair of his own was his assumption that light-up shoes were designed exclusively for kids.

So when Thorne found a pair of adult-sized light up sneakers, she had the camera rolling to capture her dad's reaction when he opened them on his birthday.

GIFs via Storyful/YouTube.

After a brief moment of confusion, he squeezed the heel and those bad boys lit right up and...

...her dad leapt out of his seat with surprise and delight.

When's the last time you felt this level of pure, childlike happiness?  

Most of us are barely out of high school when the world starts slapping us in the face with adultness. Our favorite childhood foods start to taste bland, our favorite bands from fifth grade sound like whiney strangers with guitars, the shows and movies we once found inspiring start to lose their shine in the hindsight of adulthood and real life experiences.

We have to deal with things like paying taxes, and getting jobs, and being adults who have bills and responsibilities. We have to deal with "the Mondays" and people who say "the Mondays."

In short, sometimes it can feel like adulthood means smiling less; we start to take little joys for granted.

Moments like the one Sarah Thorne captured with her dad are proof that pure joy has no age.

You're never too old to be delighted by something small and silly. In fact, those small, silly things can sometimes be the most important — because they can brighten your day when you need it most.

Plus, light-up sneakers are awesome. Always.

Watch the full video here:

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

Keep Reading Show less