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John McCain's emotional, career-encompassing speech will live on for generations to come.

Looking back on a long career, John McCain lands on an important lesson about life.

John McCain's emotional, career-encompassing speech will live on for generations to come.

Months after being diagnosed with brain cancer, John McCain delivered one of the best speeches of his long political career.

The 81-year-old Arizona senator was this year's recipient of the Constitution Center's Liberty Medal, an award given annually to an individual who exemplifies "courage and conviction" and strives "to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe." Recent past recipients include Rep. John Lewis, the Dalai Lama, Malala Yousafzai, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

After being introduced by former Vice President Joe Biden, McCain gave a speech that really needs to be heard by people across the political spectrum.


McCain called on lawmakers to find common ground and reject the hyper-partisanship that's infected Washington in recent years.

While he and Biden didn't always agree on policy during their time as colleagues in the U.S. Senate, McCain noted, they never doubted that the other had the best interests of the country in mind. Politics, McCain suggests, used to be more than just a game of power.

"We believed in the institution we were privileged to serve in," McCain said of his working relationship with the former VP. "We believed in our mutual responsibility to help make the place work and to cooperate in finding solutions to our country’s problems. We believed in our country and in our country’s indispensability to international peace and stability and to the progress of humanity. And through it all, whether we argued or agreed, Joe was good company."

"We believed in our mutual responsibility to ... cooperate in finding solutions to our country's problems." GIF from CNN/YouTube.

The most headline-grabbing portion of McCain's speech was a call to reject fear and embrace the obligations the U.S. has made to the international community.

Nationalism and "America First" attitudes didn't make America great; our commitment to the outside world did. It's at this point in his speech where the war hero begins to get a bit choked up, reflecting on the country as it is and as it should be.

He asked those around him to reject "half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems," calling that attitude and those policies unpatriotic.

"We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil. We are the custodians of those ideals at home and their champion abroad." GIF from CNN/YouTube.

The common thread between those two points — finding common ground with those we disagree with and rejecting isolationism — is empathy.

To be sure, McCain's positions haven't always reflected an empathetic worldview. With hawkish positions on foreign policy and his past pushes to gut the Affordable Care Act, he's certainly an imperfect messenger of an important lesson. In this speech, though, as he reflected on some of the brightest moments in his career, it is the basic bond of human empathy as a motivating factor that stands out the most.

"I’ve seen Americans make sacrifices for our country and her causes and for people who were strangers to them but for our common humanity, sacrifices that were much harder than the service asked of me," he said, his voice wavering ever so slightly, tinged with emotion. "And I’ve seen the good they have done, the lives they freed from tyranny and injustice, the hope they encouraged, the dreams they made achievable."

Watch John McCain deliver his powerful, thoughtful retrospective on life as a public servant below.

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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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A disturbing joint report by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that tens of thousands of pets have been harmed by Seresto flea and tick collars. Seresto was developed by Bayer and is now sold by Elanco.

Since Seresto flea collars were introduced in 2012, the EPA has received incident reports of at least 1,698 pet deaths linked to the product. Through June 2020, the EPA has received over 75,000 incident reports relating to the collars with over 1,000 involving human harm.

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