When a critic called Arnold a 'snowflake' he responded with an epic, yet uplifting mic drop

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a badass in the movies, but he's increasingly building a reputation as a heroic "action star" in real life. Only, instead of dropping ungodly amounts of fake bullets into his enemies, Schwarzenegger has been dropping rhetorical bombs against his political opponents while building intellectual and emotional bridges to those who disagree with him but still have open hearts and minds.

The most recent example found Arnold responding to a comment someone made on Facebook. On the surface, that may sound like just about the least unique or original jumping off point for a story.





But so far as Arnold's "critic" goes, I challenge you to find a better example of someone lashing out behind the safety of a keyboard. The anonymous commenter apparently doesn't like Schwarzenegger chiming in on world events like the coronavirus or the president of Donald Trump, telling the former California governor: "Stick to lifting and making movies … Snowflake is a title you do not want."

Now, there are all kinds of ways an 8-time Mr. Universe could respond to being called a "snowflake." Simply put, Arnold's response is brilliant, taking an attempt to go negative and reminding everyone of the power of positive, constructive political dialogue:

"I never mind picking up new titles. Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia, Terminator, Governor… If you want to call me Snowflake, that's fine - it would have been a fantastic Mr. Freeze line. But let me give you some advice. If you're going to call someone a snowflake because they believe in a different policy than you, you might want to look in the mirror. When you see an idea you disagree with, you can get angry, or you can learn. I'd recommend you research and learn and grow. You can still disagree - that's the best part about being American! But at least you can disagree with evidence and analysis. We can all be better if we don't simply react. Pause, reflect, learn, and then decide if you still want to call someone a Snowflake. Good luck with everything."


Oftentimes, the most powerful statements are simple, emotionally evocative and built around an airtight argument Honestly, it doesn't matter what your politics, religion, values or agenda is, Arnold's thinking applies to them all. When we believe in our ideas and have truly examined them, including our own motivations for latching on to them, we should be willing to engage in dialogue with those who have different points of view After all, our beliefs are not contingent on their support. And each party might just learn something along the way by talking it out ... and listening.

Of course, this isn't Arnold's first rodeo in the "doing good" space of social media.

He has been trying to make a difference on social media like talking about the importance of wearing a mask since March when the coronavirus lockdown went into effect across most parts of the country.

He also responded to a fan who contacted him about being depressed, and had some wise words about why mental health trumps any flexing from time at the gym.

What Arnold is proving is that it is vital to think before we speak. Try to be informed about your opinions. When someone disagrees, try to see if they might have a point. Don't try and be right. Try and get it right. That requires having an open mind. Whether you have believed something for five minutes or 40 years, it is important to be open to all ideas. This is how we grow.

He is also showing how to bring an errant and cavalier comment back down to earth rather than getting swept up in some frivolous emotional exchange. Arnold was the bigger person (I am assuming in more ways than one). And while he might not have changed the mind of the person he was responding to, if you read the comments, his words made an impact on others.

Walking the walk is contagious. It is much like that moment when you are behind a disadvantaged person in the checkout line at the grocery store, and they either forgot their wallet or can't afford what they're trying to buy but then someone steps up and offers to pay for them. You feel a little ashamed that you didn't think of doing it first. The good news is that the next time that happens, you could be the one who steps forward and makes everyone in the line wish they had thought of it.

Another key lesson here is patience. Arnold didn't take the bait. He didn't give Mr. Keyboard Tough Guy the response he was hoping for, unless typing an insult to Arnold Schwarzenegger just made him feel empowered. And that would be sad, but I digress. Arnold is showing us the way we need to be communicating. It's not rocket science but the basic tenets of civil discourse seem pretty rare these days, especially on social media.

The Internet is the ultimate marketplace of ideas. Instead of cancelling those we disagree with, maybe the best way forward is through open dialogue and transparency. The best ideas will win, the worst ideas will lose and everything in between can be discussed back and forth to find the best ideas from both sides. If that's the role of Arnold's third act in the public eye, we can't wait for him to "be back" next time.

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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The 1776 Report isn't just bad, it's historically bad, in every way possible.

When journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones published her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, some backlash was inevitable. Instead of telling the story of America's creation through the eyes of the colonial architects of our system of government, Hannah-Jones retold it through the eyes of the enslaved Africans who were forced to help build the nation without reaping the benefits of democracy. Though a couple of historical inaccuracies have had to be clarified and corrected, the 1619 Project is groundbreaking, in that it helps give voice to a history that has long been overlooked and underrepresented in our education system.

The 1776 Report, in turn, is a blaring call to return to the whitewashed curriculums that silence that voice.

In September of last year, President Trump blasted the 1619 Project, which he called "toxic propaganda" and "ideological poison" that "will destroy our country." He subsequently created a commission to tell the story of America's founding the way he wanted it told—in the form of a "patriotic education" with all of the dog whistles that that phrase entails.

Mission accomplished, sort of.

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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.