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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.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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