While grownups are busy messing up the world, these kids are trying to make things right.

Forgive me for pointing this out, but all around the world ... adults are royally screwing up.

We're starting wars, dumping chemicals all over the place, and bowing down to the almighty dollar/yen/euro/gold bullion. It's enough to make you want to throw in the towel. And yet ... there's a reason to hope. Because, my friends, the kids are all right.

Kids see through the nonsense and address the issues head-on.

Here are just a few examples.


They're fighting to protect the environment.

Youth activists from a group called iMatter are suing state and federal governments for ruining the natural resources they have the right to inherit. Alec Loorz, who founded iMatter when he was in high school, writes, "We can't vote. We can't afford lobbyists. We can only trust that our leaders will make good decisions on our behalf. But when they make decisions like favoring oil company profits over our safety, then we need to hold them accountable."


Image by iMatter: TRUST Oregon.

They're working hard for peace.

In Congo, young men started a musical theater troupe to advocate for peace.They're called the Youth Musical and Theatrical Alliance for Peace (JMTAP). Some of their neighbors encourage them in their work, but others have threatened them for defying their community's traditions. They won't stop working for peace though. They see a culture of violence and ethnic division and they can't live in it anymore.

Members of the JMTAP rehearse in a classroom. Check out their video to hear their song about how deeply Congo needs peace. Image by Local Voices.

And, ultimately, they are fighting for their futures.

Safa has been living in a refugee camp in Iraq for four years, but she remembers her home in Syria. Her circumstance is out of her hands.

When filmmakers from UNICEF visited the camp two years ago, Safa saw a chance to get a message to the outside world. She addressed the children of the world, saying, "You should thank God for the blessings you have, living in your homes and countries. Thank you and don't forget us."

Two years later, not much had changed in her life. UNICEF gave her another opportunity to send a plea to people beyond the boundaries of her camp. This time, her message wasn't for the world's children but for its leaders.

Via UNICEFmena.

If those leaders can't get it together to help her, maybe the world's children will. After all, they're doing amazing work.

Checkout Safa's interview below, and be prepared to be blown away by her strength and clarity:


All around the world, kids are angry, hopeful, and doing something about it.

So maybe it's time to put the kids in charge. With passion and audacity from this generation, maybe we'll be all right too.

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

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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.