More

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
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

Sir David Attenborough has one of the most recognized and beloved voices in the world. The British broadcaster and nature historian has spent most of his 94 years on Earth educating humanity about the wonders of the natural world, inspiring multiple generations to care about the planet we all call home.

And now, Attenborough has made a new name for himself. Not only has he joined the cool kids on Instagram, he's broken the record for reaching a million followers in the shortest period. It only took four hours and 44 minutes, which is less time than it took Jennifer Aniston, who held the title before him at 5 hours and 16 minutes.

A day later, Attenborough is sitting at a whopping 3.4 million followers. And he only has two Instagram posts so far, both of them videos. But just watch his first one and you'll see why he's attracted so many fans.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

Keep Reading Show less

One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.

A half hour later, Sheila's started getting text messages that John wasn't safe. He had posted messages with suicidal ideations on social media and his friends had called the police to check on him. The Albers immediately raced home.

When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.

Keep Reading Show less