Clip of Biden comforting the son of a Parkland school shooting victim has Americans in tears

Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. These qualities of leadership may not be flashy or loud, but they speak volumes when we see them in action.

A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.


Oof. The spontaneous hug was sweet. Corey shaking his head "no" when Biden asks if he's okay was rough. But seeing this young man cling to the former vice president, who kisses his head and reassuringly says, "It's going to be okay. We're going to be okay. I promise." Well, that's almost too much to take.

Biden knows the pain of loss first hand. His first wife and baby daughter were killed in a car accident while on their way to pick up a Christmas tree in 1972, leaving him a single father of 3- and 4-year-old sons. He remarried nearly five years later, but experienced close personal tragedy again in 2015, when he lost his son Beau to brain cancer at age 35.

Understanding someone's pain is a powerful thing. And being able to share words of comfort from a place of experience and knowing is a gift. In less than 30 seconds, Joe Biden exemplifies what genuine empathy and compassion look like.

"I don't have it in me a lot of times to give him that comfort," Corey's mom shared in a video ad shared by Gabby Giffords. "So it meant a lot for somebody else to give him...to take that time and to care enough about him."

It meant a lot to lots of people, seeing Biden in one of the genuine human connection moments he is known for. There's a reason people call him "Uncle Joe," though this clip feels more like a hug from a warm grandfather.

And Americans made it clear that they are craving this kind of compassion to return to the White House. Here's a handful of the responses to the video:






It's also worth noting that Biden was not in office at this time, and he was still more than a year away from announcing his run for presidency. So for the cynics out there, this wasn't a political move for the cameras—this was just Joe being Joe.

Consideration, compassion, decency, empathy, and dignity are all on the ballot this election. Even Lindsey Graham in on video saying that "if you can't admire Joe Biden as a person" then "you've got a problem and you need to do some self-evaluation." He said he's "the nicest man I've ever met in politics" and "as good a man as God ever created."

Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. That's the leadership we need now more than ever.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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