This mom's letter to her sons is an inspiring manifesto for men on supporting women.

To my sons,

It seems you grow taller by the day. Stronger. Smarter. More aware of everything. I have no more babies.

Your personality, style, and sense of humor are evolving. You’re making friends and learning to be one. You’re refining your interests — sports, clubs, the arts ... girls.


You’ve hit that age when we can no longer hide the world from you, nor you from it.

The turning point comes suddenly. No more scripting, hovering, or follow-up.

You’re officially a young man. You face your own monsters now. You make your own choices, and must live with them.

As your parents, we want this for you. We want you to dream, work, plan, partner, and use every good thing you are to create a life worth loving. We want you to be successful and happy and independent.

But I have to be honest. As your mother, I want more.

In this world where women and girls still struggle for equal regard and opportunity, I want your help ... and your commitment.

I want you to use your maleness to create safe spaces for women and girls.

I want you to be the voice of reason when we’re treated unreasonably, and the hand of friendship when a friend is hard to find.

If you hear other boys laugh about violating girls, I want you to refuse to play along. If necessary, I want you to remove yourself from not only the situation, but also from people who get their joy from others’ pain.

Son, I want you to be the one. The brave one who stands up. The honorable one who protects and respects women.

The kind one who remembers — when it matters most  — his sisters and mothers and grandmothers and aunts who may have taught him well, but who loved him even more.

I want you to be that one. Because if a man is only as good as the good he does, he is made better by the good he is.

Be the one, Son.

Not just for me. For all of us.

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.

Amazon

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.