JOIN
OUR EMAIL LIST!
Nattapong Wongloungud / EyeEm/Getty Images

It's easy to get caught up in the negative. A quick glance at social media would have you believe all of humanity is at each other's throats, angry over a grocery line or losing a parking spot to someone. This isn't every day, and sometimes the best thing for your mental health is to look at the positive bits of humanity. Remind yourself we're capable of great things.


Reddit user, u/badlungsmckgee, wanted to brighten your day when they asked:

[Serious] History is full of well-documented human atrocities, but what are the stories about when large groups of people or societies did incredibly nice things?

Starting A Movement

Giphy

In 1989 a man named Ian Kiernan got a bunch of people off their a--es and outside to "Clean Up Australia". 30 years on and it's still a massive annual event.. oh and now worldwide..

I remember that first time teenage me went out to my local beach to help and the amount of McDonald's rubbish was shocking... unfortunately it STILL is. But every year brings more people out to clean in their local areas. Ian died last October, rest his clean soul.

ShoganAye

The Power Of Letters

A severely deformed English man named Joseph Merrick and known as "the Elephant Man" was treated horribly for most of his younger years, used as a circus "freak show" by different people (they covered him in a blanket and would take it off for people to see his disfigurements) who all robbed him blind and left him to die. He wound up in a hospital in London, where a doctor examined him and took care of him as best he could (the deformities were not painless). The hospital couldn't afford to take care of him, so the surgeon posted a letter in the London newsletter, telling Merrick's story and pleading for someone who would be willing to pay/care for Merrick for the rest of his life (it was not expected to be long).

A year later, the surgeon sent another letter to the newspaper, thanking the countless people that had sent money to the hospital, allowing them to care for Merrick until he passed.

When I first read those two letters I bawled my eyes out.

Edit: a few mistakes I made that should be corrected. The person who wrote the letters to the London Times was FC Carr-Gomm, a chairman of the hospital, not the surgeon Treves that had befriended Merrick. Treves had met him while he was doing exhibitions, not when he showed up at the hospital. The time between the first and second letters was three and half years, not one year.

Here is the link to the letters if anyone wants to read them themselves: http://www.lettersofnote.com/2016/08/the-elephant-man.html?m=1

MrGallant210

Making The Best Of Any Situation

This is just one man, but his story has stuck with me ever since I heard it.

In 1939, Maximilian Kolbe was arrested and later sent to Auschwitz. During his time there all he did was help others, praying for the dying and comforting many. In 1941, after a prisoner from his block escaped, an SS officer arrived and announced that he would select 10 prisoners to be starved to death, and Kolbe was not among them. After hearing one of the men cry out for his wife and children, Kolbe volunteered to take the man's place. The officer agreed and Kolbe led prayers and sang with the other 10 prisoners until he was the last one left alive. He was executed by a phenol injection shortly afterwards.

sebastianrasor

Unity Across The World

The Choctaw Native American tribe sent relief funds to Ireland during the great potato famine. A remarkable act of generosity especially considering that was shortly after the Choctaw had been displaced off their traditional land.

Source:

https://theconversation.com/how-a-small-american-indian-tribe-came-to-give-an-incredible-gift-to-irish-famine-sufferers-98742

doublestitch

Ireland has set up a scholarship to begin in Autumn of 2019 as a form of thank you. It allows students of the Choctaw community to come to Ireland to study.

Snugglor

Never Let Snow Stop You

In December 1917 a horrible accident in the harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia resulted in an explosion the largest ever created by conventional bombs. Two ships carrying ammunition for the war crashed into each other and exploded. The resulting damage killed 2000 people and injured over 5000. A 16-inch snowfall the following day made matters even worse.

Boston responded and sent trains and boats of medical and building supplies. They also sent most of the entire school of medicine at Harvard to help save lives.

To this day, Halifax remembers Boston's kindness by sending a large Christmas tree to be displayed in Boston Commons each year.

article

roarlikealady

Let Others Not Suffer As We Suffer

During the plague pandemic, the residents of the small village of Eyam, in the countryside of England, democratically decided to build a wall around the city - not to keep the plague out, but to avoid it spreading to the nearby cities.

Supreme bravery and altruism, right there.

nervehacker

It was a virtual wall - they quarantined themselves in the village.

Supplies were left by a well nearby in exchange for money soaked in vinegar.

If you are ever visiting the Peak District it is worth a trip. The old houses have plaques on them showing who died there.

Mog_X34

Take To The Skies

The Berlin Airlift.

After WWII, Berlin was divided by the Allies (West) and USSR (East). But Berlin was in East Germany which was controlled by the soviets. And they eventually blocked all access from roads and railroads to West Berlin in 1948. So the allies decided to airlift all the supplies to the city which was an enormous task. They flew about 200,000 flights in a year to the city and were able to keep it adequately supplied. Eventually the Soviets gave up and opened up the roads and railroads.

HurricaneHugo

Holiday Exchange

During WWI on Dec 6, 1917, two military ships collided in Halifax harbour. One of them was filled with military explosives, and the resulting explosion levelled the city of Halifax, NS, Canada. The Halifax explosion was the largest man-made explosion until the development of the atom bomb, remains the largest mass blinding in history. 2000 people died, and 9000 were injured. Shocks were felt over 200 km away. It was a generally catastrophic event for the town I grew up in.

At 10 pm the same day, Boston sent a train of medical personnel and supplies to Halifax. Although it didn't reach us until two days later due to a snowstorm, they provided critical supplies to the town and relief for local medical teams who had not rested since the event. Their help saved many lives, and helped to mitigate the effects of a horrific event. To this day, we learn about the help Boston provided us in school, and every Christmas we send them a Christmas tree to thank them.

dentarg2

That's ONE Way To Handle It...

the gulabi gang.

in rural india, women area treated worse than property, and after witnessing their daughters, sisters, mothers and even themselves getting beaten by men and being met with "what did you do to egg him on?" a bunch of women formed a 'gang', wore pink(or 'gulabi') saris, and went around beating the sh-t out of men with sticks who beat women. Together they were terrifying to wife-beating sh-theel men, and men started to fear their wrath so much that domestic abuse began drying up in the area. The concept started spreading all over to where there were rampant problems with domestic abuse.

FatSputnik

Keep The Awful To A Minimum

When a few men sacrificed their lives to prevent a secondary explosion in Chernobyl that would've spread radiation across Europe.

Samthevidg

A Ticket To Escape

I'm not sure if a Filipino Redditor mentioned this already but the Philippines saved a large amount of European Jews by giving them Filipino passports just so they can escape Nazi Europe - all thanks to the efforts of President Manuel Quezon and his team that did it over a brunch meeting, if the history books are to be believed.

It is why Israel considers my country a friend of the nation for the actions of our first Commonwealth President.

JoseMari117

Work Without Stop

This story is from Bihar state in india. Dashrath Manjhi, famously known as the Mountain Man who single-handedly carved a path through a mountain. He carved a path 110 m long (360 ft), 9.1 m (30 ft) wide and 7.6 m (25 ft) deep through a hillock using only a hammer and chisel. After 22 years of work, Dashrath shortened travel between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya town from 55 km to 15 km.

And this was just because he wanted his village people to have faster access to medical facilities. Death of his wife inspired him to do this, because she couldn't get the medical attention in time.

sagarcastic

Brothers Across Arms

I always remember the Christmas truce of 1914 as a remarkable act of chivalry and peace between enemies during one of the most devastating wars in history. That despite all the horrors around them and the fact that human beings were being killed in their thousands, for a few days everyone managed to lay down their arms and treat each other as friends.

sck8000

Welcome, Emperor!

In 1859, an insane homeless man from San Francisco named Joshua Norton proclaimed himself Emperor of the United States... and the people of San Francisco went along with it. He was widely beloved, treated with great deference, and the currency he created himself was honored at the establishments he frequented. When he died, 10,000 people went to his funeral, and he is either referenced by or inspired characters in works by Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Christopher Moore, Morris and Rene Gascinny, Selma Lagerlöf, and Neil Gaiman.

NeverEnoughMuppets

No one seems to be adding on some of the amazingly nice things he did in his life as emperor. He was once arrested and after public outcry, released. Instead of being upset about the ordeal he gave his official imperial pardon to the officer who arrested him. From that moment on San Francisco police saluted him on sight.

There was another well recorded instance where a race riot was potentially about to break out, San Francisco being famous for its controversial treatment of Chinese immigrants. As a fight began to break out, before it could get bloody, emperor norton stepped in the center and began loudly reciting bible verses. Instead of fighting everyone just listened.

ScenicAndrew

You Have Only 6 Days

Giphy

The Great Race of Mercy

It is the winter of 1924 and there is only one doctor, Doctor Curtis Welch, in the small town of Nome, Alaska. Weeks after the deaths of several children, from what was originally misdiagnosed as tonsilitis, Dr. Welch confirms the presence of diptheria in his hospital. By great misfortune, all of the hospital's diptheria antitoxin had expired just after closure of the port; more would not come until spring. Fearing an epidemic and more fatalities, Welch pleads for assistance from the U.S. Public Health Service.

A meeting of the Board of Health determined that the only way to deliver the necessary amount of antitoxin and prevent a diptheria epidemic was by dogsled relay.

Over a distance of over 1,000 kilometers.

In the middle of the Alaskan Winter.

In under six days.

In favorable conditions, this journey would normally take around 30 days. It had to be completed in six, or exposure would cause the antitoxin to expire and, as Dr. Welch had sadly discovered, expired antitoxin had no effect.

With winds exceeding 40 km/h, temperatures at or below -50 celsius, and the low visibility from the polar night, 20 men and dozens if not hundreds of dogs braved all of these conditions and, in exactly six days, successfully delivered 100% of the antitoxin.

Several of the men suffered severe frostbite and many of the dogs died on the journey. However, the epidemic was stopped and, depending on who you ask, saved thousands of lives by stopping the disease from spreading outside of Nome.

Highwatch

What Better Day To Put Your Life In Front Of Another?

I don't remember how long ago it was, but certainly around the time of the Arab Spring, when Egypt's Coptic Christian community was particularly vulnerable, a bomb planted by Islamic extremists exploded near a Copt church shortly before Christmas, which put the fear amongst the Copts that they were being targeted. Sure enough, on Christmas day they arrived at their Churches to find them surrounded by crowds of Muslim demonstrators.

Who then acted as human shields to protect them from more bombs. They knew that the extremists would be less likely to risk killing fellow Muslims.

RedWestern

Are you a historian with knowledge of a wonderful act of humanity? Share it with us!

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
Keep reading... Show less
Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
Keep reading... Show less
Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

Keep reading... Show less