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This memo Joe Biden sent his staffers on work-life balance is a must-read.

'I would like to take a moment and make something clear to everyone.'

This memo Joe Biden sent his staffers on work-life balance is a must-read.

Back in November 2014, Vice President Joe Biden sent a seemingly everyday memo to his staffers.

But on Aug. 6, 2016, it resurfaced online after Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California, posted a photo of the memo to his Facebook wall.

And it started to get the internet's attention.


Wow. What an excellent example. From this month's Esquire.

Posted by Gavin Newsom on Saturday, August 6, 2016

The photo of the memo, which was published in a recent issue of Esquire, spells out how Biden really feels about work-life balance.

Here's how the memo goes (emphasis added is mine):

To My Wonderful Staff,
I would like to take a moment and make something clear to everyone. I do not expect, nor do I want, any of you to miss or sacrifice important family obligations for work. Family obligations include, but are not limited to, family birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, any religious ceremonies, such as first communions and bar mitzvahs, graduations, and times of need, such as an illness or a loss in the family. This is very important to me. In fact, I will go so far as to say that if I find out that you are working with me while missing important family responsibilities, it will disappoint me greatly. This has been an unwritten rule since my days in the Senate.
Thank you all for the hard work.
Sincerely, Joe


Biden's memo echoes what the facts have said for quite some time now: Americans should make work-life balance a priority.

We work long hours. We're definitely more stressed out than we should be. And far too many of us get way less sleep than needed.

Making sure we're spending time unplugged from work — hanging out with loved ones, getting some fresh air, even just watching a favorite sitcom to take a break from the daily grind — does the body (and mind) good.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images.

Research suggests that when we prioritize work-life balance, we're actually more productive, less likely to quit our jobs, and just generally healthier.

Work-life balance is better for you and your employer.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the U.S. has the luxury to take advantage of these work-life balance benefits — mostly those in low-income or blue collar roles, who have less say in their work schedules and need to be on the clock as much as possible to make ends meet.

That's probably why Biden has been a fighter for policies like paid sick leave and guaranteed time off for new moms — legislation that would especially help these folks.

Judging from the comments on Newsom's post, Biden's memo is definitely resonating with lots of people.

The vice president doesn't get everything right all the time. But on this issue — and one or two others — he really does get it.

Thanks for looking out, Joe.

Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Pool/Getty Images.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

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Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.