There was no lifeguard on duty at the sunny Florida beach when two young boys suddenly found themselves caught in a dangerous rip current.

Stephen and Noah Ursrey, 8 and 11 years old, cried out for help. Roberta, the boys' mother, along with three other relatives, swam out to save them, only to find themselves swept into the same rip current, desperately in need of a rescue.

If it weren't for the quick thinking of horrified beachgoers watching from land, the entire family faced almost certain doom.


[rebelmouse-image 19476316 dam="1" original_size="750x418" caption="Stephen and Noah Ursrey. Image from CBS Evening News/YouTube." expand=1]Stephen and Noah Ursrey. Image from CBS Evening News/YouTube.

No single person could successfully pull off this type of rescue. It took a small army.

Nearly 80 people rushed to create a human chain from the shore to where the Ursreys were stuck. When the chain reached the family, the stranded swimmers were passed one-by-one down the chain until they made it safely back to shore.

[rebelmouse-image 19476317 dam="1" original_size="750x370" caption="Beachgoers stage a successful rescue operation. Image from CBS Evening News/YouTube." expand=1]Beachgoers stage a successful rescue operation. Image from CBS Evening News/YouTube.

This is humanity truly at its best: people going out of their way to help other people because it's the right thing to do.

In this moment, it didn't matter what anyone's politics were, what god they worshiped, where they were from, what language they spoke, what their gender was, or who they loved. Those differences certainly existed (and differences are good, wonderful things), but when lives were on the line, those things didn't matter. People who joined forces to build a human chain out into the ocean because other people needed help.

When we work together toward a common goal, we are stronger than we are working apart. This is not a new idea (stories of it have been around for thousands of years), but it's always worth remembering just how true it is.

Thanks to those Florida beachgoers for reminding the world just how great humanity can be.

You can check out a CBS report about the rescue below.

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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All photos by the Ambulance Wish Foundation, used with permission.

She wanted to see "my favorite painting one last time."

This article originally appeared on 09.30.15


Before 54-year-old Mario passed away, he had one special goodbye he needed to say ... to his favorite giraffe.

Mario had worked as a maintenance man at the Rotterdam zoo in the Netherlands for over 25 years. After his shifts, he loved to visit and help care for the animals, including the giraffes.

As Mario's fight against terminal brain cancer came to an end, all he wanted to do was visit the zoo one last time. He wanted to say goodbye to his colleagues — and maybe share a final moment with some of his furry friends.

Thanks to one incredible organization, Mario got his wish.

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This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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