We're not going to lie - so much of the news we hear these days is downright depressing. It can be tough reading through a seemingly endless stream of stories about natural disasters, terrorism, terrible politicians, and the rest of the world's problems. When it comes to bad news, there's really no shortage of it.
But, somewhere within the internet lie tiny pieces of joy and kindness. Good deeds, daring rescues, selfless acts, and some proper cases of good 'human-ing' are happening all the time. You just have to know where to find them. Of course, this kind of heartwarming news doesn't generally go mainstream.
Catching up on good news can be vital for your mental health if things have been getting you down lately. We understand the struggle, which is why we've taken the time to curate these 50 images that will definitely restore your faith in humanity. Enjoy this wholesome break and feel free to thank us later - #43 and #44 will absolutely stun you and melt your heart!
1. Puppy Saved From Flood
If you found yourself trapped in a flood, and forced to leave your home by wading through deep water, what could you take with you? Pretty much nothing. All of your goods are likely to be ruined by water anyway. But if you had a pet, you couldn't leave it behind. So this boy found a way to save his, even though doing so put him in incredible danger.
The poor dog is soaked already - it must have spent some time in the water before the boy saved it with this bowl - but look at the level the boy is willing to go to in order to keep the dog safe. He is literally up to and above his neck in the flood water, so much so that it's risen to his mouth and he's having to spit it out as he moves along. He's almost willing to drown just to keep his canine friend alive. That's love.
2. A Thirsty Koala
Ever been so hot during a heat wave that you've got all the windows open, the AC on, a fan blowing and nothing on but swimwear, and you're still way too hot? Spare a thought for our furry friends, who don't have the option of removing layers to cool themselves down. They really feel it.
It's a good job, then, that there are people around as friendly and generous as this gang of Australian cyclists, who stopped by the side of the road and were approached by a very thirsty koala bear. Recognizing that the men were drinking water, it approached them to beg for a drink, and was very grateful for what it got - look at the way it lifts its paws up to hold on to the bottle! Always keep an eye out for animals during very hot days, they'll be every bit as pleased for a drink of water as this little koala was.
3. Volunteer Senior Citizens In Japan
This story represents the absolute ultimate in courage and conviction - and symbolizes the devotion of parents and grandparents to their offspring. They will protect them to the very end, even if it means deliberately and knowingly putting themselves in harm's way. They will protect them even if they know it could easily kill them.
When Japan's Fukushima nuclear power station suffered a meltdown in 2011, it was an environmental catastrophe. The entire area for many miles around was contaminated with lethal levels of radiation, and even getting close enough to start repair work was a potential death sentence for rescue workers and engineers. Recognizing the danger, and in an act of astonishing self-sacrifice, a band of 200 retired Japanese pensioners - many of whom were retired engineers or had similar skills that would be useful in this crisis - volunteered to head into the danger zone in place of younger men and women.
4. Sheep Rescue
If you found yourself near the sea, on slippery rocks, when the weather changed and the waves came crashing down towards you, what would you do? Head in the opposite direction and get onto safe, dry land as soon as possible, right? Anyone would. But if you had a friend with you who fell in the water, how far would you go to rescue them? Where do you draw the line between wanting to save them, and wanting to stay alive yourself?
The poor defenseless creature had been swept away by a wave, and it stood no chance. Within a matter of minutes, it would have been dragged away into the ocean and drowned, but two men passing by refused to let it happen. Putting themselves into considerable danger - climbing over jagged rocks at the water's edge and leaning all the way in - they managed to grab the lost sheep and pull it to safety.
5. Bookshop Sign
Depending on your age, you may not remember a time before the internet. If you don't, here's a terrifying thought for you. In those dark days, if we wanted to know something, we had to go and find a book. We couldn't stream our favorite movies either, so if there was nothing on we wanted to watch, we'd get entertainment from books, too. For centuries, books were the gateway to all human knowledge. For the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, they still are.
That's why random acts of generosity, like the one from this awesome bookshop owner, are vital. Not only are the books low cost during the day, they're free to borrow them at night, and if you can't afford to pay, you don't. This is a business owner putting his faith in humanity to do the right thing - to pay if they can afford to pay, and to bring books back when they're borrowed.
6. Baby Names For Snooki
Ever sat reading a website, or watching TV news, and heard what feels like the thousandth report that day about the Kardashians, or Jersey Shore, or Kim and Kanye, or any number of other mega rich celebrities who you don't know or care about, and wondered why we need to know every intimate detail of their everyday lives? Ever wondered if you're alone in just not caring about it? We have good news for you, you're not.
Looking at the results of this poll, where people were asked what Snooki should name her son, is reassuring. Aside from the fact that the naming of a baby is a job for the parents and should never be decided by something as basic as a popularity poll on the internet, people have had their say and their decision is almost unanimous. Nobody cares. What Snooki does or doesn't name her offspring is of no interest to virtually anybody.
7. Supportive Athlete
Athletes are a unique breed. They're driven by a desire to succeed and be the best. That's even more true of solo athletes, who compete in individual sports. Every athlete who turns up at the track on a race day wants to win. It's what they've trained for, and it's what they dream of every night. That makes this picture all the more remarkable.
The runner providing a shoulder to lean on here is Meghan Vogel, who was in last place in this 3,200m event when she came across Arden McMath, who had been running farther up the field before injury stopped her in her tracks. Instead of running past her, as others had done, Vogel helped her up, put an arm around her and carried her along for the remainder of the race. If that wasn't enough as a sporting gesture, she pushed McMath over the line ahead of herself, ensuring that she would finish in last place.
8. Giraffe Bread
We love tiger bread. We love that it tastes great, and we love that it looks weird. It's bread that has markings on it like it's a tiger! How much fun is that? Well actually, if you're a three-year-old in England, apparently not that much fun at all.
Little Lily Robinson took one look at the tiger bread and decided it was wrong. It's just so much more fun to make it giraffe bread! And so, she wrote to the supermarket she saw it in, and told them what she thought. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for the store manager to receive the letter, laugh at it, and then throw it in the trash and think nothing more of it. But this store manager was a kind soul who wanted to take the time to thank Lily for writing in, and reward her for her efforts, so he sent her a thank you letter and a gift card.
9. A Sweet Note
If this one brings a tear to your eye immediately, it's OK, it did to us, too. This was a letter left, along with a $20 tip, to a waiter in a restaurant from an elderly lady who was eating on her own.
Picture the scene - an old woman eating alone in a restaurant where she would have been easy to ignore whilst staff attend the bigger tables. But Luke made the time to talk to her and make a difference to her day without knowing a single thing about her. There's no way Luke could have known what a deep impact he could be having on this lady just by being polite and courteous, but then that's true of all of us. Each of us interact with people we don't know almost every day. We could be having a bigger impact than we realize every time we have a conversation.
10. Subway Kindness
How many times have you heard it said that big businesses don't care about their customers? They exist to make money, and so long as the money keeps rolling in, everything is fine by them. They also have no reason whatsoever to do anything nice for anyone unless it benefits them in some way. And that's what makes this picture so special.
Somewhere, there is a Subway store manager who'd walked past lonely, starving homeless people down on their luck one too many times without being able to help them, and decided they'd had enough. And so, without caring what other people thought about it, or whether it would affect paid custom during those hours, they decided to do something wonderful. For two hours, once a week, they would open up the restaurant and feed the homeless for free. Kindness that seeks no reward is the purest form of kindness there is, and it's on display right here.
11. Kitten Savior
If this doesn't warm your heart, nothing will! This man is a villager in Cuttack City, India. Floods have come to his home and swept away everything. Everything is underwater. But this man is not, for one second, going to stand by and watch a vulnerable creature die.
You can tell by looking at them that these kittens are very young - far too young to be able to swim for any length of time, if at all. They would never be able to make it left to their own devices, and so this man has gone way beyond the call of duty to make sure they're safe. With a basket he's found from somewhere, he'd gone wading in so deep that the water's almost up to his neck, just to make sure they stay dry and away from danger. Risking your life to save a creature that can't even thank you? That's what heroes are made of.
12. Interview Clothes
When you're down on your luck, things are hard enough. If you're out of work and counting every dime, you probably don't have spare cash to think of the little things, like freshening up your outfit to stand out at an interview. And if you turn up for that interview looking shabby, stood next to someone who looks like they just stepped out of a commercial, you know your chances of getting the job just went down.
That's why what this cleaning service in Portland, Oregon did is amazing. They don't charge the unemployed for cleaning if they're going to a job interview. They're giving a little helping hand to people who are trying to help themselves. The firm is called Plaza Cleaners, and they're awesome. The owner estimates that so far, they've performed this service for more than 2,000 people at a cost to the business of around $32,000, and they don't regret a thing.
13. The Gift Of Shoes
Ever been on holiday somewhere hot, and walked the beach at the peak of the sun? Ever got out of the pool and scorched your feet on the cement because the sun's been beating down on it all day, and you left your footwear by the pool chair? Hurts, doesn't it? Now imagine that was your reality, every day, because you were so poor you couldn't afford shoes. Imagine the pain. Imagine the humiliation.
We can't say for sure whether those were the thoughts running through this man's mind as he gave his shoes to a homeless girl in this picture, taken in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, but we can say that what he did marks him out as an incredible human being. He can see the obvious distress the girl's in, and he's not just taking off his own shoes for her, he's leaving himself barefoot in order to do so. That's real kindness.
14. An Oxygen Lifeline
Being a firefighter is one of the most difficult jobs anybody could do. Aside from the fact that you put your life in danger on a daily basis, you have to make split second decisions that can have life changing implications, every time you're on the scene of a major fire. Balancing priorities is part of the job.
That's what makes this picture wonderful. It's a firefighter administering oxygen to a kitten he's saved from a house fire. If your family was unfortunate enough to be caught up in a blaze, you'd grab what you could and get out of there as quickly as you could, but pets are family, too. The look of care and attention on the face of this fireman tells you that he understands that, and not only was he willing to go in there and find the kitten, he'll go way above and beyond the call of duty to keep it alive for you.
15. Another Cat Rescue
Cats just have a way of getting themselves into trouble. They get stuck up trees, trapped under floorboards and stuck in outhouses, and this one couldn't get itself clear of a fire. This one isn't a kitten, though, it's a full-grown cat, and it looks to have a little more awareness and understanding of what's just happened to it.
Wherever that firefighter's just been, it was dangerous - they don't put their breathing apparatus on for nothing - so we can safely say that cat was in real danger. But look at the way it's looking at its savior! If you've ever picked a cat up, you'll know that they decide how long they want to be held, and they won't be shy of letting you know when it's time to put them down. This one seems happy to stay exactly where it is - snuggled up to its hero.
If all you know of the world is the news you see every night, or read on the internet, you could be forgiven for thinking it's a dark, divided place where people live in fear of those with a different religion or skin color to them and will have nothing to do with anyone who doesn't speak their language. And if that's you, then it's very important you see this picture.
It's easy to work out what's going on here - this little Guatemalan girl has taken a liking to a tourist who she's just met. He doesn't speak her language and she doesn't speak his, but she's made him a little posy of flowers. You don't need an interpreter to understand the meaning behind the gesture, and his broad, happy smile coupled with her shy awkwardness make this image a real treasure. You could show this to anybody, anywhere in the world, and they would understand it.
17. A Friendly Invitation
Now here's a lovely gesture. During a time where religious tensions seem to be more of a barrier between people than ever before, here's a man who's using it to try to make new friends instead.
Ramadan is an especially holy time for those of the Islamic faith, requiring strict fasting and some activity that those unfamiliar with it could find unusual. Possibly aware of this - or possibly just because he wanted to include his neighbors in a time of celebration - he's reaching out to the people who live around him to eat with him and his family. By advertising his name, his address and his faith to people who either don't know him, he could make himself a target for all kinds of abuse, but instead he's chosen to open his arms and put faith in humanity. We hope it was rewarded, and he had a lot of people around the table that night!
18. Dog Heroes
Remember the photo you saw a little earlier, of a sheep who'd fallen into the ocean? That was a picture of bravery and triumph, but it was a deed done by fully grown adults who'd calculated the risks and decided it was a risk worth taking. If a similar act was carried out by a pair of children, it would be even more amazing. And yet here it is, happening on this picture.
These two boys are working together to help a dog who's fallen into a ravine. There are adults in the world who would walk past the stranded dog without a care, but these children launched a comparatively difficult rescue operation. Look at the ingenious use of the basket to extend their range. The dog looks like he's been through an experience, too - it looks like by the end it offers a handshake of thanks!
19. A Heart-Warming Gesture
This is a whole story contained in one little note, and it's about so much more than a free lunch. This is what a couple, who'd gone to lunch with their one-year old child, found waiting for them when they asked for the check.
Buying a meal for a pair of young parents is a great thing to do for anyone, at any time, but it's the story behind it that really melted our heart. The couple who paid the bill were once young parents themselves, and someone once did this for them. It's a gesture of kindness from years before which has now been paid forward, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the recipients on this occasion will pay it forward again years from now. The note about their parenting skills is touching, too - it says "I see you. I know what you're going through, and you're doing just fine".
20. Birthday Surprise
You can imagine that he last thing an army officer wants to do is go face to face with his own citizens, and yet during times of civil unrest, that's often exactly what happens. There were protests on the streets of Brazil, and the army had been called in to restore order. Ordinary people came face to face with armed soldiers, and things could have become very dark very quickly. But instead, something incredible happened.
Instead of pointing his guns at the crowd, this general simply told them that he didn't want to fight with them today, because it was his birthday. The crowd of protesters responded with kindness. Someone found a birthday cake and handed it over to the general. It was enough to bring a tear to the old soldier's eyes, and in an instant, tension had dissolved and people were smiling, clapping and taking pictures. A dangerous moment had become a beautiful one instead.
21. A Daring Rescue
These pictures tell an amazing story even if you take them at first glance. A man in his shirt and underwear has dived headlong into water to save a woman's dog, and from the look of her face you know exactly how much it means to her. It's a kind and noble act, but there are little details to this tale which make it even more special.
First off, that man and woman have never met before. She's Sue Drummond, and she was out walking on Melbourne Pier when a gust of wind took her dog and blew him out into the bay. Raden Soemawinata - a total stranger - saw what was happening, stripped his clothes off, and jumped into the freezing water to save its life. And secondly? Raden was only there on the pier that day to scatter his grandmother's ashes. A man who was in mourning risked his life to save a stranger's dog.
22. Charge Up
If you have a child, and a pet, you'll understand this picture immediately. You may even have once been a child and grew up with a new pet in the house, and you understand the bond that forms between children and animals of a certain age. But no words could sum that bond up better than this picture does.
When babies are very young - and pets are too - it's almost like they don't understand that they're different to each other. They grow with each other and learn from each other, and develop a close, protective relationship. Animals seem to know that babies are different from full grown adults and take extra care around them. This cat is actually half the size of this child and could cause a lot of damage with a bite or a scratch, but instead it just wants some cuddle time with its best friend in the garden. It's adorable.
23. Passionate Protester
We're not going to lower ourselves to repeating the best-known catchphrase of Westboro Baptist Church, but we think you've probably heard or seen it somewhere on the internet. All we can say is that if people claim to be Christian, and yet preach hatred, intolerance and division, they're not really Christians. Here they've run into a child who knows and understands far more than these adults ever could.
"God hates no-one" sums the entire position up in three words. Why and how could a God who created us hate us or want to see us suffer? And if you've read your Bible, or the text of your own religion, and decided that it's told you to go out and hate or abuse people, you've read it wrong. Go back to the start, try again, and find the love. Children, like the very wise one here holding up his sign, need role models who preach inclusion, acceptance and tolerance.
Graduation Day is one of the most important days in a young person's life. After years of study, hard work and exams, they've made it, and now they get to stand on a stage and be recognized in front of their family, friends and peers. The picture they take with their cap and gown will probably be on the wall of their parents' house forever, so you want to look your best. How awkward, therefore, would you feel if you couldn't do that, because you were very sick?
That was the reality for this young man when the big day arrived. Battling against cancer, he'd lost all of his hair, and was facing the prospect of collecting his diploma completely bald and feeling self-conscious. There was no way his friends were going to stand by and let him go through that. In a heartwarming display of friendship and togetherness, every single one of them shaved their heads.
25. The Best Halloween Costume
Halloween is a great time when you're a kid. You and your friends get to dress up and party, and complete strangers give you money or candy. It's like having a pre-Christmas, and it's a date that little ones get excited about every year without fail. Imagine how difficult it must be if you have a child who's disabled and can't go out knocking on doors or partying with their friends. Imagine trying to explain that to them.
These parents decided they weren't willing to do that, and so they found another way. Using what we think are actually some pretty ingenious design skills, they build a full costume around their child's wheelchair, completely disguising it and giving him a fantastic, unique Halloween outfit of his very own. Far from being an outsider, he was probably the envy of all of his friends. Look at the crazy level of attention to detail - there's even a tiny menu!
26. Everlasting Love
In a world of increasing divorce rates, there are still couples who took their wedding vows very, very seriously. Here, in this picture, is a man called James Burke. He's on his deathbed, and he's gazing lovingly into the eyes of Lauretta, his wife of sixty four years.
His wife suffers from Alzheimer's Disease, which James didn't, so before getting ill he was his wife's carer and took charge of all their plans together. Facing death and knowing that his wife would outlive him and still require care after he was gone, he spent his final moments on this Earth re-writing his will, ensuring that everything she would need for the rest of her life would be provided for her. His family described a man who fought to stay alive because his wife needed him, and unable to do that, took every measure to make sure that she could still feel his love even after he was gone.
27. Man's Best Friend
Dogs just love you. Incredibly friendly, loyal and affectionate animals, if you're good to a dog it will be your guardian, guide and best friend for its entire life. And in that sentence, there's a tragedy - in the vast majority of cases, you will outlive your canine friend. And that means being there during its final moments. A man called John Unger perhaps knows that better than any of us ever will.
John's dog Schoep is 19 years old in this picture and suffering from painful canine arthritis. Every night, John would walk out into Lake Superior carrying Schoep in his arms, going in almost to his neck, so the buoyancy of the water would relieve some of Schoep's pain and allow him to sleep peacefully. He would do this dutifully and daily because it was his only way of paying Schoep back for almost two decades of a shared life and friendship.
28. Autograph From A Princess
Magic Kingdom is pretty awesome for children. OK, that's a lie, we'll try again. Magic Kingdom is pretty awesome for everybody, but it's especially awesome for children. It's a place where dreams come to life, and fantasy takes flight. For very small children, they're memories that they'll treasure for their whole lifetime.
Every Disney worker in the Kingdom will go out of their way to make that visit as special as possible for every child - but you wouldn't necessarily expect the same out of the security staff. That's what makes this man wonderful. Every day, he goes to work with an old autograph book, and whenever he sees a princess, he asks for her autograph. As seen here, the child is amazed that someone thought they were a real princess, and it makes their day that bit more special. Parents who've seen him up close say that they can see hundreds, if not thousands, of signatures in the book.
29. Milk Delivery
The motto of most police departments is, famously, "to protect and serve", and that's the basic guideline of good policing pretty much everywhere. Looking at this picture, we guess they just take it that little bit more seriously in Boston.
Shortly after the Boston marathon bombing, things were as serious as serious could get in Watertown. A "stay in place" order had been enacted, meaning residents were unable to leave their homes, and the entire town was basically in lock down. Those aren't ideal conditions to have a young child in, especially when you have nothing in the house and you can't get to the shops. That's what makes Officer John Bradley a special kind of police officer. Having become aware of a house in his watch area containing a 17 month old child, and no supplies, he went to the store for them and came back with two gallons of milk, for which he refused to accept any payment.
30. Growing Old Together
Love is more than just an emotion, or a mood. Love is a promise. True love lasts forever and exists as a bond between two people that will keep them side by side until death.
None of us particularly look forward to old age, or becoming weaker, or losing our independence. More than that, we fear the loss of those close to us. That's why pictures like this one give us so much hope - according to the photographer, this couple can be seen taking a walk around the block every single night, the same way, holding hands. We don't know anything about them and we don't need to; it's a visual symbol of the eternal nature of love, and how once it unites us, time can never come to divide us unless we allow it. We hope that everybody finds someone to be by their side, hand in hand, well into old age and beyond.
31. Boots And All
Here's another police officer who just gets it. Homeless people are down on their luck enough already, but when they take up residence for the night on benches, or in doorways, or on the street, they can sometimes be asked to move along by shopkeepers, or the police if they're deemed to be causing a nuisance. When this homeless man saw an officer walking towards him, he'd probably already started picking up his bag to find somewhere else to lay down for the night. He was wrong.
All this officer wanted to do was bring him some all-weather boots and thermal socks to keep him warm on a very cold night in New York. The officer had seen the man was barefoot and decided to do something about it. He didn't have to, and he had nothing to gain from doing so, but he did it anyway, because he could, and it helped.
32. A Good Deed
Resisting temptation is never an easy thing. If there's something you want right in front of you, and you can take it, and nobody will ever find out, then why wouldn't you - even if you know it's not the right thing to do? A bus driver in Israel was faced with this dilemma, and a huge financial incentive to keep it to himself, when he was closing his bus down for the night and found a bag containing $25,000 in cash.
The owner's details were in the bag, and he could have easily returned the bag and any personal items to the owner without the money. Putting temptation aside, he returned the bag, money and all, to the owner. When he did, he found out the owner was a humble janitor, and the money represented savings he'd made over a long period of time to send home to his mother and children - people who were relying on him.
33. Water Is The Gift Of Life
The average human body can survive for up to three weeks without food - Gandhi famously managed 21 days of complete starvation. Water, however, is a different story. At the very most, we can live without water for a week. Water is required by every cell in our body. It lubricates joints, regulates temperature, and flushes waste. For the homeless, living on the streets without access to water, death is a near and imminent certainty unless water can be found.
Showing a tenderness and awareness beyond his years, this boy is fighting against that fact. With a backpack full of water and some containers, he's moving down a line of homeless people, topping up their water supply and making sure they all stay hydrated, making the world a tiny bit better for each of these people. It's one small act of kindness that makes the world a little brighter for those who need a ray of sunshine most of all.
34. Crowd Surfing
If you're under six feet tall, chances are you've been to a concert and been annoyed that you can't see over the shoulders of the person in front of you. It's not exactly cool to pay for seating instead of standing, but sometimes it's the only way of guaranteeing a view. And if this description sounds familiar for you, spare a thought for those in wheelchairs, who don't even have the option of standing on their toes and craning their necks. That is, unless the people around them are awesome.
We don't know where this picture was taken - although all the evidence suggests it was a rock concert - but we do know that all of these people have put their own enjoyment of the music to one side for a moment to let someone get a better view of the action. He's gone from no view at all to the best view in the house!
35. Tea Brings People Together
If you've been to England, or have British friends, you'll know that they think tea is the solution to everything. Raining outside? Time for a tea. Dog just died? Have a tea. Husband left you? Put some tea on, everything will be OK. It's like a cure for all ills. And as it turns out, they may have been right about it this entire time.
The US army had a difficult job in Afghanistan, bogged down in hostile terrain among mountains and caves with an enemy who could appear from anywhere at any time - and they were also tasked with protecting the residents from Taliban aggression. There wasn't much the locals could do in order to show their appreciation, but this man found a way; he brewed some local Afghan tea and took it out to soldiers doing thirsty work in sun drenched deserts.
36. Free Bread
Earlier on, we stopped to be in awe of a bookshop who offered books for free to people who couldn't afford to pay for them. Now let's take a second to admire this Turkish bakery, who have applied the same theory to bread.
Every shop that makes or sells foods generates excess; if you've worked for a fast food outlet or know someone who has, you probably know how much ends up wasted on a daily basis. That's all food that could be going to the homeless or hungry, and it's senseless to throw it all away. This bakery operates on the same principle; all excess bread that it bakes goes in this cupboard near the street so people can easily get to it, and the sign on the front translates as 'If you are hungry, take for free'. The bread is no longer wasted, and there will be fewer people starving on those streets every night.
37. Father And Daughter Triathlon
The moment you have a child, your life changes. You suddenly become aware of a depth of love that you never thought possible, and you realize in one instant that there is no length you wouldn't go to in order to protect, feed and bring joy into the life you've brought into the world. Parents will often do amazing things for their children as if it's second nature - but this father takes it to a whole new level.
His 13-year-old daughter suffers from cerebral palsy, but he doesn't allow that to become a barrier to participation in life. Every year, they enter a local triathlon together as father and daughter, and every year he pushes her in a kayak during the swim, pulls her in a cart during the bike race, and pushes the wheelchair during the race. Sometimes - as illustrated in the image - he'll simply carry her in his arms.
38. Adopt A Kitten
You might just look at this photo and see a picture of an old man with a kitten, and think it's cute, and that's fair enough. It's a nice picture, and he looks very happy to have a new friend but try thinking a little beyond that.
We don't know this man's circumstances. He's wearing a wedding ring but he's there on his own. He may be looking for a kitten because he's lost someone, or because he's tired of the house being quiet. He may want companionship and love, and just another living being to share a little bit of life with. Either way, this is someone who's approaching the end of their life reaching out and finding a companion who's at the very beginning of theirs. It's like the circle of life summed up in one picture, and we hope they were very happy together!
39. Ducks Crossing
Who looked at this picture and didn't go "aaaaah"? Was it you? Look at it again and try a little harder to get involved, this has to be the cutest thing you'll see all day! It's another great example of emergency services workers doing things they don't really have to do, because they're great people.
We don't know this adorable little family of ducks got into what looks like the middle of a large city. We're going to guess they got lost somewhere, or maybe they're on a family outing. But what we do love is how the city has come to a stop to make sure they can get across the road safely and reach their destination, and how a police officer has taken on the role of a traffic warden to make it happen. And the duck at the front even looks like it's quacking its thanks.
40. Considerate Flyers
Almost all of us have been on that flight where there's a baby screaming at the top of its lungs, and nobody's going to get any sleep or peace for the entire duration they're in the air. And yes, it's annoying. You're always aware that the baby isn't doing it on purpose, but part of you wants the parent to do something about it, even though you're kind-of aware that they're already doing everything they can. Nobody feels more awkward or stressed in these situations than the parent, however - and these forward-thinking parents have tried to solve the problem in advance.
Showing incredible generosity, they left a little gift bag for every other passenger on the flight, explaining the situation and even offering earplugs for anyone who was affected by the noise. Showing this level of awareness of other people when you have fourteen-week-old twins on your hands is just incredible.
41. A Luxury Escape
Jet skis are a symbol of luxury. They're the classic investment of someone who's done well for themselves, and we associate them with the rich. We don't always associate rich people with good deeds or consideration for others - we tend to believe they're selfish, or aloof. Here's someone who's going to change your mind.
This is a resident of Little Ferry, New Jersey - a place that suffered just about as badly as anywhere else when Hurricane Katrina struck. When flood waters rose up, people were trapped in their homes and lost everything they owned. Given that he owned jet ski, it would have been the easiest thing in the world for this guy to saddle up and ride away to somewhere dryer and safer, but that's not what he's made of. Instead, he turned the jet ski into a water taxi service to get neighbors and members of the community from their homes to safety.
42. Chicago Christians At Pride Parade
Elton John is a big supporter of Pride events - he even wrote a love letter to his LGBT fans during Pride Week in 2017. He also once wrote a song which said "Sorry seems to be the hardest word". That might have been true once, but looking at these Christians in Chicago, it isn't any more.
Gaining acceptance from the Church has long been a struggle for members of the LGBT community, and for those who hold personal Christian beliefs, the struggle will have been even harder. That's why it makes your heart happy to see this picture - representatives of the Christian community in Chicago turning out for the pride parade to apologize in person, both for their own thoughts and deeds in the past, and those of the Church. This picture offers hope that no matter how old or how deep divisions between people run, they can still be healed and overcome.
43. The Reaction From The Parade
We could just have told you that people taking part in the parade were happy to see them, but we thought this picture would do so much more than words ever could. This is what forgiveness and acceptance looks like.
Happy smiles all around, and a warm, unreserved hug that says 'I accept you' - and that comes from both sides. It was a major step for people who've shunned the LGBT community their whole lives to walk down to a Pride parade and put themselves on display like that, and there was no guarantee that the community would accept them. Years of hurtful words could have made them ignore the apology, or even worse, refuse it. But love won out on the day, and this picture is a beautiful record of a man who's completely comfortable in his own skin both forgiving and being forgiven by someone who's ready to accept and respect him for who he is.
44. Youngest Police Officer
There are always opportunities to be kind, and to make someone's time on Earth a little bit better, even when that time is limited. And the police officers in this picture make that point with a beautiful gesture.
The boy in the hospital bed is a 12-year-old named Jose Rubio-Pavon, suffering with an inoperable brain tumor. Growing up he'd always wanted to be a police officer, and now it was sadly apparent that he'd never realize that dream - or so he thought. Told of his situation, the police in Brighton, Colorado made a special exception for the boy, and swore him in as the youngest ever member of Brighton Police Department. It was the work of an hour or so for the officers who attended the hospital and swore him in. For Jose and his family, it was a dream come true, and made all the difference in the world.
45. Superhero Cleaners
Being a child should be mostly about having fun. They should be playing and making friends, and exploring the exciting world around them. The very last place a child should be for any length of time is a hospital, but for the unfortunate few, there's no other option, and it's the best place for them to be for a little while. So how can the people around them do that little bit extra to brighten up their day?
This cleaning company in Le Bonheur have the answer. Seen here taking care of the windows outside Le Bonheur children's hospital, they perform their duties dressed as superheroes. For the children inside, it may still be upsetting that they had to spend time in hospital, but it will always be that place that Batman came to say hello and do a little cleaning work, or where Spiderman abseiled past in the middle of a normal afternoon.
46. Helping Out A Fellow Athlete
Earlier on in this list, we saw a moving picture of an athlete choosing to finish dead last in a race in order to let an injured runner finish ahead of her. Here, we see that same spirit of generosity and camaraderie taken to the next level. The runner helping out her disabled colleague in this picture cost herself $10,000 by doing so.
This picture was taken at the Zheng-Kai marathon, where Jacqueline Kiplimo of Kenya was on track to finish as the first placed woman, and net $10,000 in prize money - but as she was running, she noticed a disabled Chinese runner struggling to take on water. She ran with him to the 38K mark, helping him through each water station, and slowing herself down by doing so. Because of her kindness, she finished up as second placed woman, and received a lower prize. Jacqueline has given interviews since says she's never regretted her actions that day.
47. Free Haircuts
We've seen people being kind to the homeless appear as a theme during this list several times now, and here it is again. These are the people who need help most - they have nothing and need the help of kind spirited souls to get by - and we've seen them being provided with food, water and clothing in earlier images. This New York hair stylist takes care of another need that's just as important.
Just because people are living rough doesn't mean they completely lose their sense of pride in their appearance, and not being able to maintain it, bathe or go through many of the processes we take for granted is devastating to them. They also need to look their best for meetings that may lead to work or housing opportunities for them, and their options are very limited. That's what makes this guy worth his weight in gold - and he does it on his day off.
48. A Life-Changing Talk
In the first image you see a man beaten up by life, who's gone to a bridge and climbed over the edge, because he sees no future. The only thing stopping him is the police officer leaning over to talk to him, and he bows his head and listens as the officer tells him not to do it - that life can change, and that things can get better.
The second picture shows the same man who was about to jump, eight years later and now a father of two, wearing a tuxedo, presenting an award to the man who saved his life on behalf of the American Foundation of Suicide. He stayed alive and found out life was worth living, all because of the words of Officer Kevin Briggs. Officer Briggs is a California Highway Patrol Officer who is estimated to have personally prevented over two hundred lives being lost to suicide over the course of his career.
49. An Even Better Birthday Party
Having a child who's disabled can be difficult. They're too young to understand that they're different, and they don't know why other children their own age won't always be happy to spend time around them. That was the case for this little boy, who has autism. He was having a birthday party, and all of his classmates from school were invited, but none of them turned up. His mother didn't know what to do and posted on social media to see if anyone could step in and make sure her son's day wasn't ruined. And then people became wonderful.
The local firefighters turned up, with their fire engine, and let him sit in the driver's seat. The local police turned up to say hello and brought gifts. Parents who lived locally came around and brought their own children for him to play with, and suddenly his birthday went from being the worst to the very best.
50. Scooped Up
We've seen a sheep and a dog dragged back to dry land, and we've seen animals carried overhead through floods, but this situation presented a different kind of challenge. Trapped in a canal, with high walls on all sides and no way out, this kitten was drowning. The story only has a happy ending because a quick-thinking hero was nearby with an umbrella.
Climbing as low as he dared towards the water, he held out his umbrella and opened it, providing a wide, safe space to scoop the kitten up with, and pull it out of the water. Had the right person not been there, with the right equipment, at the exact right time, this poor feline wouldn't have stood a chance. It must have been its lucky day - although it must have lost one of its lives in the process. As for the heroic rescuer? He has helped to restore our faith in humanity.
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