This viral set of tweets about becoming a U.S. citizen will bring a smile to your face.

Journalist Roger Bennett joined the ranks of the more than 700,000 people who will become American citizens in 2018.

Bennett, who co-hosts NBC Sports Network's "Men in Blazers" show and podcast, grew up in the United Kingdom. Though he's lived in the United States for some time (he got married here in 2000), it wasn't until 2014 that he committed to becoming a citizen. The process was long and tedious, but on June 1, he realized that goal.

On Twitter, Bennett shared a powerful story about the many feelings he had about becoming a U.S. citizen in current times.

He begins by sharing the story of his great-grandfather who tried to emigrate to the U.S. in the 1890s only to mistake Liverpool for New York. "That family tale always made me feel deeply connected to America," he wrote.


Growing up, his view of America, communicated through pop culture, inspired him to chase his own dreams.

He even used his bedroom to display his patriotism, painting three of the walls red, white, and blue.

After graduating from college, those dreams brought him to Chicago, due in part to his love of John Hughes films — which honestly seems as good a reason as any to choose Chicago.

On the day of his naturalization ceremony, Bennett put a fine cap on his family's 130-year journey, calling it the achievement of his lifetime.

He hopes that future generations of his family will think of him and how he was the one who moved the family to America. He doesn't even care if they remember his name.

Naturally, he celebrated his citizenship as any freshly minted American would: with a Budweiser.

He grew up dreaming of an idealized notion of America, and while it may not always live up to the model as it existed in his mind, it's a country he loves. His journey is like that of so many immigrants, just people chasing their dreams and hoping for a better world for their families. Immigrants are what make America great, whether they arrived here in the 1890s (as Bennett's great-grandfather intended) or today.

When we turn our back on immigrants, whether a starry-eyed dreamer like Bennett or someone fleeing persecution in their home country, we turn our back on our own history. Patriotism means pushing the U.S. to live up to the ideals burned into Bennett's memory, not edge toward isolation.

Welcome and congratulations, Roger Bennett, American citizen.

True

Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less

Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. These qualities of leadership may not be flashy or loud, but they speak volumes when we see them in action.

A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

The essential nature of the debate was whether it was acceptable for people to act violently towards someone with repugnant reviews, even if they were being peaceful. Some suggested people should confront them peacefully by engaging in a debate or at least make them feel uncomfortable being Nazi in public.

Keep Reading Show less

The English language is constantly evolving, and the faster the world changes, the faster our vocabulary changes. Some of us grew up in an age when a "wireless router" would have been assumed to be a power tool, not a way to get your laptop (which wasn't a thing when I was a kid) connected to the internet (which also wasn't a thing when I was a kid, at least not in people's homes).

It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

It's also fun to plug in the years of different people's births to see how their generational differences might impact their perspectives. For example, let's take the birth years of the oldest and youngest members of Congress:

Keep Reading Show less