When a reporter made fun of Justin Trudeau for taking the bus, he had a great comeback.

Shortly after being sworn in, new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers picked a novel way to travel to their first cabinet meeting.

Photo by Geoff Robins/Getty Images.


All together. On a bus.

Similar to this one. Photo by Eastmain/Wikimedia Commons.

The sight of powerful government officials crammed together in one large vehicle struck Peter Mansbridge of the CBC as funny:

"It still feels like you should be singing, like, some 'We're going to camp' song," Mansbridge said.

To which Trudeau responded:

(To be fair, Trudeau did acknowledge that he and his cabinet probably won't always take the bus — and would occasionally opt for a car service or a limo as their jobs required it.)

Trudeau is right. Lots of people do take the bus to work.

Not a lot of high-profile reporters and politicians, perhaps, but lots of regular people, many who don't have the option to travel by private car.

At the same time, there's a stigma associated with taking the bus. Wealthy riders often frequently avoid buses — both because they tend to live in lower-density areas and because bus travel is so firmly associated with poverty.

When the rich and powerful do take public transit — like when Jake Gyllenhaal or Jay-Z takes the subway — it's often portrayed as a big deal, as if it's somehow generous or "real" of them to travel the way millions of regular commuters do each day.

As a result, cities often don't seem to care all that much about bus lines or their riders.

Cities really should care more about public transit — and invest more in it.

Photo by AEMoreira042281/Wikimedia Commons.

Unlike cars, which can deliver five to seven people to a destination in a single trip (and, real talk, typically carry just one or maybe two during your average rush hour), buses can carry dozens in the amount of road space occupied by just two or three cars. Not only does that help clear up road congestions and lower total emissions, but there are massive economic benefits to providing cheap transportation to people who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it.

According to a 2013 Rutgers University study, increasing the number of available public transit seats by 10% can increase total wages in a city by over $1.5 billion per year (this includes not just buses but subways, light rail, and other methods).

That's why Trudeau's offhand response is actually kinda great.

Photo by Miles, the MBTA Guy/Wikimedia Commons.

No one should be stigmatized for riding the bus — from the prime minister of Canada to a single mom trying to get to her second job. Poor and middle-class people need safe, reliable means of getting to work just like wealthier people, and they shouldn't be shamed for taking one that's cheap, convenient, and environmentally friendly.

Which is why it's so important for cities to keep those wheels going 'round...

And 'round.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Images via YouTube and Takahiro Kyono

Adam Barrett covers 'God Only Knows' co-written by Brian Wilson

Adam Barrett has been steadily building a fan base on YouTube with his acoustic guitar covers of iconic songs from musicians and bands like The Beatles, The Cure and Oasis.

Last year, Barrett uploaded a cover of The Beach Boys song "God Only Knows," from their iconic Pet Sounds album. It's a song so good that Paul McCartney once called it the "greatest song ever written" and has repeatedly praised it over the years, including in 2007 when he performed the song live with Wilson.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."