To put it simply, gatekeeping is an act when someone takes it upon themselves to decide who does or does not have access or rights to a community or identity ("You can't be a real Phoebe Bridgers fan, you just discovered her. Real fans follow her since at least Stranger in the Alps.") If this sounds ridiculous to you, don't worry. You're not alone.

There's a subreddit called r/GatesOpenComeOnIn and it describes itself as the polar opposite of gatekeeping. Created in 2018, this online community collects and shares pictures of wholesome acts of kindness when people had each other's backs. Whether it's encouraging everyone to share their Spotify Wrapped or simply allowing someone to feel tired, it doesn't take much to acknowledge another person's emotions, thoughts, experiences, values, and beliefs. Continue scrolling and check out how it's done.

#1

Wholesome Patriotism

Wholesome Patriotism

EpicJenko Report

Marianne
Community Member
2 months ago

This! I cannot express how much I agree.

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As you can see from the pictures, empathy goes a long way. Developing it is crucial for establishing relationships and behaving compassionately. Since empathy involves experiencing another person’s point of view, rather than just one’s own, it enables prosocial or helping behaviors that come from within, rather than being forced.

Sadly, some surveys indicate that empathy is on the decline in the United States and elsewhere. But at least these findings motivate parents, schools, and communities to support programs that help people of all ages enhance and maintain their ability to walk in each other’s shoes.

#2

Halloween For Everyone!

Halloween For Everyone!

bunman21 Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
2 months ago

nice - but what religion does forbid costumes?

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#3

Come On In And Long As You’re Nice

Come On In And Long As You’re Nice

thefamilyjewelz Report

Sian Waldron
Community Member
2 months ago

As an atheist I love this sign ❤️

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Empathy really is a superpower: it helps us cooperate with others, build friendships, make moral decisions, and intervene when we see others being bullied.

Humans usually begin to show signs of empathy in infancy and the trait develops steadily through childhood and adolescence.

That being said, most people are likely to feel greater empathy for someone like themselves and may feel less empathy for those outside their family, community, ethnicity, or race.

#4

Everybody Say Thank You To Andy

Everybody Say Thank You To Andy

Awesome123310 Report

Marianne
Community Member
2 months ago

Thank you Andy!

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#5

Making Your Child Happy

Making Your Child Happy

sonic_banana Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
2 months ago

That, is a good day.

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#6

Minding Your Own Business Is Free

Minding Your Own Business Is Free

Thoeda Report

am_c0m0
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Minding our own business would solve a lot of our problems.

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Like other traits, empathy may have evolved with a selfish motive: using others as a "social antenna" to help detect danger. From an evolutionary point of view, creating a mental model of another person's intent is critical: the arrival of an interloper, for example, could be deadly, so developing sensitivity to the signals of others could be life-saving.

Babies display an understanding that people’s actions are guided by intentions and can act on that understanding before they turn 18 months old, including trying to comfort a parent. Advanced reasoning about other people’s thoughts develops around age 5-6.

#7

Bikinis For Boys

Bikinis For Boys

vacillate321 Report

John Smith
Community Member
2 months ago

Hahahaha....

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#8

Gates Open Slide On In!

Gates Open Slide On In!

Dragonography Report

IzzieM
Community Member
2 months ago

look at that happy face!

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#9

Read Whatever You Want

Read Whatever You Want

ineed_somelove Report

IzzieM
Community Member
2 months ago

I support this!

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Experts say that people high in narcissism, or who have a narcissistic personality disorder, can exhibit empathy and even compassion. However, that ability only goes so far, as ultimately they prioritize their own needs.

Some researchers believe narcissists can become more empathetic by developing greater self-compassion, which can increase their own feelings of security and self-worth and enable them to open up to hearing others.

#10

Shout Out To The Solo Eaters

Shout Out To The Solo Eaters

benImran17 Report

Something
Community Member
2 months ago

This made sense in 2018 when eating in restaurants was normal.

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#11

Do What Makes You Happy For You

Do What Makes You Happy For You

lawn-mumps Report

John Smith
Community Member
2 months ago

Both it's okay....

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#12

Unexpected Pet

Unexpected Pet

becauseimgurisboring Report

pei meow
Community Member
2 months ago

Awww!

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#13

Someone I Went To School With Posted This About Giving Their Son A Unicorn-Themed Birthday Bash. Positive Parenting For The Win

Someone I Went To School With Posted This About Giving Their Son A Unicorn-Themed Birthday Bash. Positive Parenting For The Win

frauenarzZzt Report

Zuila
Community Member
2 months ago

My boy loves colour pink and red. As soon as he was able to show it to me, I have made him red birthday cake and bought red or pink clothes. He also liked to play with baby doll, toy washing machine and cooking gadgets and we allowed him to play what ever he wanted. That phase has now mostly passed, but red is still his favourite colour.

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"Do a thought experiment," Mark Davis, a professor of psychology who has spent decades studying empathy, said. “Imagine if humans didn’t have the capacity for empathy. What would it mean if, in fact, we never gave a damn about what happened to other people? That’s an almost an inconceivable world."

"As awful a species as we can be — and we certainly have the capacity for terrible things — we’re also capable of some pretty wonderful things, noble things, self-sacrifice."

#14

Family Is A Family Is A Family

Family Is A Family Is A Family

ElanMorinMetal Report

Julie C Rose
Community Member
2 months ago

A while ago someone asked me if I “have a family”. I said yes and was genuinely confused when she started asking me about kids.

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#15

Southern Hospitality

Southern Hospitality

foot-waffle Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
2 months ago

⬆️ this guy rocks

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#16

Anyone Can Be Tired!

Anyone Can Be Tired!

EverydayGirlDad Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
2 months ago

Thank you!

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#17

Never Too Late To Join A Movement

Never Too Late To Join A Movement

iiamuntuii Report

Natalia Shoemark
Community Member
2 months ago

Good point!!!

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Interestingly, the word "empathy" is relatively new. It didn’t enter the English language until the early 1900s, derived from the German word einfühlung, according to Daniel Batson, a researcher of empathy and professor emeritus at Kansas University.

#18

Felt Like This Might Belong Here

Felt Like This Might Belong Here

calysoe Report

MauKini
Community Member
2 months ago

My husband doesnt find my jokes funny, but he cracks up when i cant finish the joke because im laughing so hard.. I love him!

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#19

It's The Thought That Counts

It's The Thought That Counts

Scraw16 Report

IzzieM
Community Member
2 months ago

8 am class with a fun lecturer, where do I sign up?

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#20

Never Too Late For New Beginnings

Never Too Late For New Beginnings

manupuwaga Report

am_c0m0
Community Member
2 months ago

This should get more upvotes!

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While some people are more naturally empathetic than others, there are easy, evidenced-based exercises that anyone can do to increase their empathy. 

First, talk to new people. Trying to imagine how someone else feels is often not enough. Luckily, the solution is simple: ask them. "For me, the core of empathy is curiosity," Jodi Halpern, a psychiatrist and bioethics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies empathy, told The New York Times. "It's what is another person’s life actually like in its particulars?”

#21

We Are All Nerds Together

We Are All Nerds Together

Night_skye_ Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
2 months ago

I can completely relate to this. I love it when I discover that a friend that I've known for years has an in depth knowledge on a subject I never suspected.

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#22

Does This Truck Count?

Does This Truck Count?

A_BroadHumor Report

CrazedFalcon17
Community Member
2 months ago

:D

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#23

Good Guy Owner

Good Guy Owner

oscarfacegamble Report

MauKini
Community Member
2 months ago

I love this. In Germany it is forbidden by the law to look for food in supermarket dumpsters. As long as the food doesnt pose a safety hazard, the food should be donated (which some supermarkets do, but its only a few plus they have to pay tax for the food which they are donating, so not many do this).

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#24

Hi Milly

Hi Milly

NYR525 Report

Verena Gitterle
Community Member
2 months ago

HI MILLY!

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You can start conversations with strangers or invite a colleague or neighbor you don't know well to lunch. But the trick is to go beyond small talk – ask them how they're doing and what their daily life is like.

Put away your phone and other screens when you’re having conversations, even with the people you see every day, so you can fully listen and notice their facial expressions and gestures.

Also, follow people on social media with different backgrounds than you have (different race, religion, or political persuasion). 

#25

Stress Relief

Stress Relief

DailyWally Report

Hans
Community Member
2 months ago

And do not geet engaged into ridiculous competition. You do not need to have read the full History of Middle-earth to enjoy watching the hobbit. (You should, though, before criticising supposed plot-holes.)

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#26

Money Is Power, But Also Not

Money Is Power, But Also Not

VoxorHD Report

Marianne
Community Member
2 months ago

Also when the minimum wage rises, you can hope that other employers will also offer more, to give people a reason to stay in their job instead of taking an 'easier' minimum wage job.

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#27

Better Late Than Never

Better Late Than Never

VoxorHD Report

Nat Hedley
Community Member
2 months ago

Dude in my graduating class (back in 1997) was 84 years old at the time of his graduation. Learn like you'll live forever, it's never too late.

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Bravo! It ain’t over til it’s over. College was out of reach for me at 18, even though I was an excellent student. Then life got in the way. Plus, I was frustrated at being passed over for management jobs I could’ve done in my sleep in favor of idiots who just barely graduated but still had that college degree—-who then proceeded to totally f**k up their departments. Anyway, after the second layoff in five years, I went on unemployment for the first time in my life. But unemployment had a program called Workforce Investment. I easily jumped through all the hoops for it. Part of its benefits were grants that would pay for my Associates degree. Even though I was 51 at the time, I knew opportunity wasn’t going to knock again, so I jumped at the chance. I though college was a dream lost, but it was just a dream deferred. I now have a Master’s degree, having gone full time and graduated (at 58) at the top of my class for all my degrees (Associates, Bachelors, and Masters), so am finally qualified for those promotions I should’ve gotten all those years ago.

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Paul Davis
Community Member
2 months ago

Does it really help to run straight into college at age 18 and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a degree in a field when you have no idea what you want to do with your life?

A Head
Community Member
2 months ago

I didn't get a college degree until I was 38 with two kids. Now, 12 years later, my wife and I run our own successful business.

RoseTheMad
Community Member
2 months ago

I started a University course at the age of 24 after years of not knowing what to do with my life. Turns out forensics and mortuary science was my strange fascination :) If you want to learn, there is no age limit. There are even people who just stay studying university courses their entire lives! At least in the UK, anyway, as you don't pay back your debt until you earn over a certain salary a year, so you can theoretically just continue to study your entire life. :)

Aliquid A
Community Member
2 months ago

Took me 8 years to get a 4 year degree... because I worked the entire time to pay my way... ended up graduating without a student loan. Seemed like a better path to me in the long run.

tomruns12
Community Member
2 months ago

I finished my degree at 35. No shame.

Crochet lady
Community Member
2 months ago

I took some courses for fun when I was 28, history and a brush up of my German and thought I would be the oldest person around. Most of the time I stood out. I was pregnant and the oldest and got a lot of questions until German class. My German class had the coolest 80 year old woman I have ever met taking the class for fun, just like me. You're never too old to learn, or to enjoy learning. My history prof would yell when excited, causing my son to kick up a storm. I sat in the front row, Prof paused class to ask if he was keeping my baby awake. He could see the kicking from his lectern. Lol. So, apparently you're never too young to learn either. Baby Matt paid attention during history and loves history to this day. Maybe that's why?

Dogfan4life
Community Member
2 months ago

Age is but a number. It does not matter and you live your life at your own pace. People make fun of you, they need to slow down and recognize the beauty of the world around them.

Kate
Community Member
2 months ago

I went to university with a woman who was 82 when she enrolled; her parents had refused to pay for her to go when she was younger (because they didn't see the point if all she was going to do was get married eventually). She'd instead gone on to be a career secretary and office manager but decided when she retired that the thing she wanted to do most was get a university degree. It's not about how fast but when's the right time for you.

Aayse
Community Member
2 months ago

finish line does not have an expiration date" love it

Tina-Marie Tarrant
Community Member
2 months ago

I finally achieved my qualification in December 2020. I started in 2000. 1 nervous breakdown, 8 years of depression (that I still have gaps from) and suicide attempts, raised 2 wonderful children and decided to re-enrol in January 2020. Of course, a global pandemic kicked all our arses and classes were deferred. I started back again in July 2020, then got a full time job in October (that I drive an hour each way everyday to get to and from), so I switched to night classes and finally graduated in December. I could not be prouder of my long and winding 20 year journey to complete a 12 month course.

Jane Petersen
Community Member
2 months ago

Started my 8-year undergrad at age 29 while working and raising two kids - just finished my graduate degree at age 53. It is never too late to learn and if someone tells you it is, they gave up on themselves.

Veronica Vatter
Community Member
2 months ago

I'm 33 and starting college in the fall for the first time!

Amaranthim Talon
Community Member
2 months ago

That phrase, "Just run your race love; the finish line don't have an expiration date." is beautiful and I'm going to steal it ♥

Kathi Kemp
Community Member
2 months ago

Got my Bachelor's at 29; Master's at 44.

Spittnimage
Community Member
2 months ago

My mom went back to school to get a nursing degree at 51.

Kate DiLiberto
Community Member
2 months ago

Life is a journey, not a contest!

Curry on...
Community Member
2 months ago

You'll be the same age whether you go or not, so just go and have life the way you want it.

Nikki Sevven
Community Member
2 months ago

And your race is completely different from anyone else's, so why waste time comparing them?

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 months ago

Run your race. New life motto!

Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
2 months ago

I didn’t go until I was like 25 🤷🏻‍♀️

Yvonne Blau
Community Member
2 months ago

I love the last sentence

Elaine Mattingly
Community Member
2 months ago

No time limit on knowledge.

Laurie Ostergaard-Overbey
Community Member
2 months ago

i went and got my AA degree at 45.....wish i could continue, im now 66

M Kate McCulloch
Community Member
2 months ago

I started college at 29. I was a f*****g Rock Star in college.

Cybele Spanjaard
Community Member
2 months ago

Yes just aim to follow your dream and it will happen!

Florence Hastings
Community Member
2 months ago

Life isn’t a race. Enjoy it.

Catherine Spencer-Mills
Community Member
2 months ago

Got my first bachelor's at 37, my second at 63. Heard of a woman who got her PhD at 70. Age is not an BFD.

Martha Higgins
Community Member
2 months ago

Good for you for going back to school! Improving your English grammar will help your future job prospects.

Fran Morasco
Community Member
2 months ago

started college at 44---never too late

Alex Hamilton
Community Member
2 months ago

Grrreat line!!!

Bryn
Community Member
2 months ago

Whenever it comes to schooling, take the time YOU need. YOU are the one learning, not other people. And sometimes it takes time to get to that point for whatever reason.

Erica Lemieux
Community Member
2 months ago

Oh how I wish I could upvote this a hundred times this is my husband right now in school at 36 cause he was dealt a crapy hand as a kid and had to get a ged at the age of 22 starting from like grade 3

Berlinda Dunbar-Nye
Community Member
2 months ago

Find your time when it's best. That way you'll appreciate it and do what you do best. Sometimes life gives us a winding road.

meowoui
Community Member
2 months ago

I went to college at 50, I was even older then most of my professors.

Patricia Stilwell
Community Member
2 months ago

You're going to get older whether or not you go for your goal, so just do it. It's worth the experience and you have your own pace. It's your goal, no one else's.

James F. Wilson Jr.
Community Member
2 months ago

I had many friends during the years of the War in Vietnam that were professional students for six of seven years in order to avoid the draft. Pussies all.

Sportsgal
Community Member
2 months ago

Don't ever be embarrassed about achieving your dream in your time frame. I was a teacher in grad school program at 23. MOST of my students were older than me!! How many people regret NEVER going back? Celebrate!!

Ray Martin
Community Member
2 months ago

When I was at school in the U.K, high school graduation wasn't actually a thing. It's just as well, because I left school at 15 and would have missed it, and I'm 64 now. The trick is, whether you leave school or not, to never stop learning.

Vicki Donaldson
Community Member
2 months ago

I graduated last year with a degree to be an X-ray Tech at the age of 59!

El Dee
Community Member
2 months ago

I left school for work and MUCH later did my degree part time. I had a 14 year gap between leaving school and actually graduating..

Bettie-Jean Neal
Community Member
2 months ago

Two college people - one in school/one graduated and both have horrible grammar. I can't get past that. Sorry, not sorry

infinite upvote
Community Member
2 months ago

Going back to school in my mid-thirties has been one of the best choices I've made as an adult

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#28

Oh Thank You

Oh Thank You

ghoulraccoon Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
2 months ago

<3

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But don’t just stand in someone else's shoes, as the saying goes—take a walk in them. For example, consider attending someone else's church, mosque, synagogue, or other houses of worship for a few weeks while they attend yours, or visit a village in a developing country and volunteer.

If you don't have enough time for these activities, you can simply explore a new neighborhood, or strike up a conversation with a homeless person in your community.

If someone’s behavior is bothering you, think about why. Consider what it’s like to live their daily life.

#29

Gay Pride Can Be Whatever You Want/Need It To Be

Gay Pride Can Be Whatever You Want/Need It To Be

squeakim Report

Hans
Community Member
2 months ago

It is your life after all.

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#30

Friendly Encouragement

Friendly Encouragement

kalynwoodbury Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
2 months ago

this is good

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#31

How Lovely

How Lovely

holliepoetry Report

Zuila
Community Member
2 months ago

Thank you for this! Kids will never learn how to behave or communicate with others if they can't be at public places. My kids usually behave very well, but can be quite loud.

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#32

Showing Respect For One Another’s Professions

Showing Respect For One Another’s Professions

coleonoscopy Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
2 months ago

What a weird comment. Don't we all love the person that turns up at our doorstep with our eagerly awaited parcel??

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Remember, you don't need to understand everything about someone to make them feel respected. Just don’t make assumptions about people based on what your life is like. The people on this list certainly haven't.

We’re all humans, and we all have a desire to connect with one another. Building our empathy, considering the perspectives of others, and opening ourselves to uncomfortable conversations can make that happen.

#33

Witches vs. Patriarchy

Witches vs. Patriarchy

taeowyn Report

Reagan Maher
Community Member
2 months ago

Exactly, this goes for men too

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#34

Jesus Never Stutters

Jesus Never Stutters

camfromthegutter Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
2 months ago

DiD I F*****G StUtTeR?

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#35

You Get To Decide How You Define Being "Grownup"

You Get To Decide How You Define Being "Grownup"

DancingAndrovski Report

Something
Community Member
2 months ago

Why would a saleswoman at a furniture store not want to sell furniture?

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#36

All Allies Welcome!

All Allies Welcome!

NYR525 Report

Sue Burrison
Community Member
2 months ago

Me too.

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#37

Taking Care Of Your Mental Health Is Important

Taking Care Of Your Mental Health Is Important

huracanEVO Report

Dietmar Pichler
Community Member
2 months ago

This is important.

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#38

We’re All In This Together

We’re All In This Together

KingOfNiFe Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
2 months ago

A lot of people do make it their business to decide what other people should earn, how and where they should live and why they shouldn't have universal healthcare. They're called Republicans.

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#39

Ok Zoomer

Ok Zoomer

HipstaBarista Report

Marianne
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Smartphones are the library of Alexandria? Wow, I have to remember this one!

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#40

They Had Us In The First Half

They Had Us In The First Half

RsquaredT Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
2 months ago

I truly laughed out loud. "God" is a gem!

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#41

I Love Sharing My Book Collection

I Love Sharing My Book Collection

DiagonalCrosswalks Report

Ember
Community Member
2 months ago

I couldn’t agree more

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#42

Just Flush

Just Flush

BellsForPShells Report

Hans
Community Member
2 months ago

Great!

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#43

Speak Everything

Speak Everything

blazinfastjohny Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
2 months ago

I love how creative they were to change the sign that way <3

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#44

Learning Is Awesome

Learning Is Awesome

MagnetOfWeird Report

Marianne
Community Member
2 months ago

Also my favorite ones! And I love to talk about them to whoever cares to listen. ;)

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#45

Read What You Love

Read What You Love

numberonecatmom Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
2 months ago

Thank you!!!

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#46

You’re Doing Just Fine

You’re Doing Just Fine

RedGalDread Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
2 months ago

This stupid meme also failed to recognise that to develop skills and side hustles we really benefit from the support of friends and family. Hanging out and chatting enables our brains to get things in to perspective, sort out what we've learnt so far, and subconsciously start to work on what is to come next.

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#47

Blake Knows What's Up

Blake Knows What's Up

lbseida Report

Dizzy Falcon
Community Member
2 months ago

HE IS THE MESSIAH

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#48

Gonna Remember Who Spoke To Me And Who Didn’t

Gonna Remember Who Spoke To Me And Who Didn’t

CodePurple_ Report

Aayse
Community Member
2 months ago

waiting for the lockdown is over can take some time.

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#49

Accept Everyone And Respect Their Decisions Y’all

Accept Everyone And Respect Their Decisions Y’all

smol_catto_ Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
2 months ago

It could be so easy...

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#50

Do Whatever Makes You Happy

Do Whatever Makes You Happy

Gingold Report

DancingPig
Community Member
2 months ago

I agree

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Note: this post originally had 92 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.