Tag Archives: upworthy

Care Connects WWII Survivors and Syrian Refugees to Bring Happiness

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As of almost 1 year ago, there were more than 4 million Syrian refugees, a number that increases daily as conflict grows across Europe. Babies are being born in refugee camps. Children are experiencing years meant for exploration, imagination and fun in a landscape that is scary, violent and often times changing moment to moment. They’ve experienced loss at far too young an age but they are not alone in this.

Care is an organization responsible for sending care packages to children affected by WWII. If anyone understands even a margin of what modern children in war-torn nations are experiencing, it is the survivors of WWII who are now being recruited by Care to write letters to children receiving packages today. Care was created in 1945

Does he go to school? Does he have a father? Does he have something to play with? I never played as a kid.
-WWII Survivor And Letter Writer

The first 20,000 Care packages reached the shores of France in 1946 and 70 years later, Care packages are still arriving on far off shores. Today those Care packages include letters from alumni who seek to help children feel known, heard and understood in this time of crisis. Watch their story: Continue reading

15 Million Girls Getting Married Before 18: Ending Child Marriage Now

“Every two seconds around the world another girl is forced into marriage.”

Upworthy shared this post about child marriage across the globe. Girls as young as 8 years old are being forced into arranged marriages as a result of issues like poverty, culture, and religious pressures. Continue reading

Student Eloquently Points Out What’s Wrong with Education System in Five Minutes

It seems you can’t go five minutes without hearing about how apathetic today’s youth is about education – that they only care about getting famous or doing things that make them happy rather than learning. We are consistently bombarded with statistics about lower test scores, op-eds on why today’s college students aren’t ready for the demanding rigor of the current work force and the reminder that the United States is constantly slipping in rank when it comes to world education.

One Knox County, Tennessee student is going to tell you why. And you know what? It’s not because of apathetic students or lazy teachers. In five short minutes he breaks down the history of the “common core” and why it is failing America’s students, its teachers and the overall system. He explains the problem with treating education like a fortune 500 business and how a student’s success and quality of learning can’t be accessed by the percentage score of a scantron test. He stands up for his peers, their desire to learn, and for the hard working teachers that try to give them that opportunity to do so against seemingly impossible odds.

I come from a family of teachers. My mother just retired from teaching second grade. My father has been teaching at a community college for over 15 years and this fall my brother started his first year as a fourth grade teacher. When I go home for the holidays I will spend most of my time listening to conversations about lesson plans, parent teacher conferences and a rundown of all of the tedious paperwork that has to be filled out just to get a student diagnosed with ADD. When my mother was teaching she would often be at the school until 6pm, and when she came home she would be up until 10 or 11 grading papers, tweaking lesson plans or responding to parent e-mails. Every child of a teacher knows that it is a 24/7 job and that as the years go on it becomes more and more impossible. As the video points out, our teachers today are graded by percentage points on quarterly standardized tests rather than the desire to learn they inspire in their students. It doesn’t measure the important things like the amount of time spent helping struggling students or thinking outside the box. For the sake of their own jobs teachers today are forced to teach their students how to think like a multiple choice question rather than creating their own original ideas.

If we fail our students in learning how to think for themselves, how do we ever expect them to succeed in life?

If you know a teacher that could use this video as encouragement, share it with them to show your support! Or tell us what you think about this student’s speech in the comments below.

Video of the Day: A Teenager Brings His Class to Tears with a Few Words

Today Upworthy shared yet another hear-warming gut-wrenching story of what happens when love, kindness and patience mix with ingenuity. Musharaf “Mushy” Asghar had faced school years filled with bullying and isolation due to a speech impediment but with a little help from the movies, he is able to give a goodbye speech that brings everyone in the room to tears.

It just goes to show the power of educators and the spirit of children who want to learn! Be kind. Inspire.

What do you think of the video? Share with us in the comments below! 

VOD: You’re a Better Mom Than You Give Yourself Credit For

Warning: You might want to grab a box of Kleenex for the following video.

The video was originally posted by the Elevation Church as a special Mother’s Day message. They invited a group of moms to come in and talk about how they see themselves as parents. There’s no manual for raising children so of course there are always going to be doubts. These moms talked about wanting to be better listeners, having more patience, and being there more for their kids – all of them had something they wished they could do to be better. 


A New Perspective For Moms
from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

What they didn’t realize is that to their kids they are already perfect. This is when things get teary, as each child says what they love about their mom and how much their mother means to them. If you’re looking for a dose of heartwarming to kickstart your weekend, this is definitely it.

What do you think of the video? Tell us about videos you think should be in the VOD column in the comments below! 

VOD: Life is Just a Ride

shutterstock_roller_coasterTwo years before he died, comedian Bill Hicks ended a stand-up special with a lesson about life. He said that it’s just a ride, but after a while we start to forget that. We convince ourselves that it’s real because look at our money, and our success and our family, our our our. And when someone tries to remind us, hey it’s just a ride we want that guy to shut up. He’s wrong, this all has to be real or everything means nothing…

Or does it? Bill also says that we have a choice. Not a burden or a responsibility or work but a choice – between love and fear. We can hole ourselves up with our possessions and close ourselves off or we can open up and see with the eyes of love. Which sounds better to you? Watch the whole thing below.

Video found on UpWorthy

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What do you think of the video? Do you feel your life is a ride? Tell us in the comments below and show us any videos you think should be in our column!

VOD: Congress Suspended Democracy So Only One Person Could Re-Open the Government

If you haven’t been following the news regularly about the government shutdown this is one story to which you should pay attention. Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) stood on the House Floor and attempted a motion to re-open the government. What followed was the revelation that on Oct. 1 House Republicans quietly passed a resolution that changed the standing House Rules so that only Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor can make a motion to re-open the government.

You read that correctly. Eric Cantor (or his designee) is the only person that can start the process of re-opening the government. That means that even if the every other Republican and Democratic representative is in favor of re-opening the government but Eric Cantor does not make the motion, the government stays shut down. Even the most powerful Republican in Congress – Speaker of the House John Boehner – can’t make the motion to re-open the government without Eric Cantor’s permission. The power to turn on the services paid for by our tax dollars and return hundreds of thousands of government workers back to their jobs is in the hands of one person.

Does that have your attention now?

Watch the video of Chris Van Hollen’s parliamentary inquiries to see for yourself.

What are your feelings on the video? How does this gel with your definition of democracy? Tell us in the comments below. 

5 Inspirations to Have a Creative Weekend!

Artsy FartsyHave you ever had the experience of working on something you’re so immersed in that you completely forget the million other things you “should” be doing in that moment? Maybe it’s a song you’re figuring out on guitar, or a homemade birthday card, or even an elaborate doodle. And then the thought creeps in… “I really should be doing homework,” or “I really should be folding that laundry.”

Well you know what? That is precisely the time when you should keep doing what you’re doing. It’s called flow, and it is the most critical aspect of the creative process.

The development of creativity and engagement with creative practices is a major aspect of occupational therapy – a field which aims to support clients in whole-person wellness goals. The practice is incredibly effective especially for treating clients with physical or developmental conditions, but it is often also used to support individuals in the daily pursuits of success and happiness in their careers, relationships, health, and life goals.

Creativity in this space is viewed as one of the most essential factors to building confidence and self-esteem, so essential to realizing the success we aspire toward. Even beyond that, the act of creating is so different from the activities most of us engage with most regularly. And this allows us to transcend our “box”, push our comfort zones, and leap into a field of possibility!

Here are 5 ways to inspire your creativity this weekend:

36 Surprising Ways to Boost Creativity for Free (Greatist)

How to Master Both Sides of Creativity (Positively Positive)

How Seizing Your Limitations Can Be the Key to Creativity (Upworthy)

Deepak Chopra On Maintaining Creativity As You Age (Blisstree)

5 Rainbow Color Tricks to Jumpstart Creativity (Mind Body Green)

 

What creative projects are you looking forward to this weekend? Let us know in the comments section!

Dustin Hoffman Breaks Into Tears Discussing Society’s Pressures on Women

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 10.22.16 AMThe notion of ‘beauty’ in our culture tends to be more limiting and shame-inducing than cathartic. What should be a soul-expanding experience of aesthetic pleasure gets confined to a manufactured pill box, forced down our throats by television, magazines, advertisements, the porn industry – you name it. We all suffer from this together as a society, but women, most of all, bear the brunt of the abuse.

In preparing to make the 1982 film Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman was determined to look as much like a woman as possible. If the audience had to suspend disbelief to follow the story, Hoffman explains in an interview with AFI, then it wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t until he looked at himself in the mirror, fully costumed as a female, that he realized the reality women live with every day. If Hoffman saw his female self at a party, he confesses, he wouldn’t give her the time of day. The realization brings him to tears. Take a look:

This might seem overly tidy. “Hey, Dustin Hoffman, try being a real woman for even a day and you’ll experience some truly gnarly things. And before you whine about not making an attractive woman, let’s think about what beauty really is.”

But his emotional response is more nuanced than that. Hoffman bemoans the socialized notions of beauty that kept him from approaching women who might have otherwise added to his life with wit, intellect, and grace. How many women, he wonders, did he miss the opportunity of knowing, just out of prejudice?

The question we would add to that is: Why do we as a society continue to let anything but our own hearts dictate what we find beautiful?

What do you think? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

The Most Unique and Hilarious Graduation Speech You’ll Ever Hear

Who would have thought President Obama had such a witty and irreverent speechwriter?

Far from your typical political rhetorician, former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett is also far from the rote, uplifting commencement speaker most colleges opt for. This year’s graduating class at Pitzer College got a taste of real talk, mixed with testy humor, inspiring personal anecdotes, and even a few curse words just to keep it real.

Did Lovett leave anything out that you think college graduates need to hear? What’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone right now who is graduating from higher education?

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