This mom's letter to her sons is an inspiring manifesto for men on supporting women.

To my sons,

It seems you grow taller by the day. Stronger. Smarter. More aware of everything. I have no more babies.

Your personality, style, and sense of humor are evolving. You’re making friends and learning to be one. You’re refining your interests — sports, clubs, the arts ... girls.


You’ve hit that age when we can no longer hide the world from you, nor you from it.

The turning point comes suddenly. No more scripting, hovering, or follow-up.

You’re officially a young man. You face your own monsters now. You make your own choices, and must live with them.

As your parents, we want this for you. We want you to dream, work, plan, partner, and use every good thing you are to create a life worth loving. We want you to be successful and happy and independent.

But I have to be honest. As your mother, I want more.

In this world where women and girls still struggle for equal regard and opportunity, I want your help ... and your commitment.

I want you to use your maleness to create safe spaces for women and girls.

I want you to be the voice of reason when we’re treated unreasonably, and the hand of friendship when a friend is hard to find.

If you hear other boys laugh about violating girls, I want you to refuse to play along. If necessary, I want you to remove yourself from not only the situation, but also from people who get their joy from others’ pain.

Son, I want you to be the one. The brave one who stands up. The honorable one who protects and respects women.

The kind one who remembers — when it matters most  — his sisters and mothers and grandmothers and aunts who may have taught him well, but who loved him even more.

I want you to be that one. Because if a man is only as good as the good he does, he is made better by the good he is.

Be the one, Son.

Not just for me. For all of us.

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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