In the note addressed to his "Wonderful Staff," Biden urged his employees to never miss family obligations in the name of work while stressing that it is "very important to him."
As America prepares to welcome President-elect Joe Biden to the White House this January, a recently surfaced letter he sent to his staffers while serving as the vice president six years ago, brings hope for the next four years under his presidency. The letter—which was written in 2014—appeared on Twitter earlier this month and left users with warmed hearts and fuzzy feelings as the words of the then-vice president bore a valuable lesson on prioritizing family over work. In the note addressed to his "Wonderful Staff," Biden urged his employees to never miss family obligations in the name of work while stressing that it is "very important to him."
"I would like to take a moment to make something clear to everyone," the memo begins. "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 illness or a loss in the family. This is very important to me," the vice president emphasized.
"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," he continued. "This has been an unwritten rule since my days in the senate. Thank you all for the hard work." The letter dated November 7, was shared online by a Twitter user named Dan Barker on its sixth anniversary, which coincidentally, was also the day Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election. "Exactly 6 years ago today, as Vice President of the USA, Joe Biden sent this note to his staff. I presume in the background, thoughts of his first wife & daughter who died long ago; or his son, who died of cancer just a few months after this note. Worth reading," Barker tweeted.
Trump doesn’t know enough words to write a letter.— Disgusted: Hypocrisy & Lies (@ByDisgusted) November 12, 2020
Biden's message of prioritizing family over work bears particular significance considering the many personal losses he suffered. According to Independent, the 77-year-old lost his first wife Neilia and 13-month-old daughter Naomi in a car accident in December 1972. In 2015, a few months after Biden wrote the letter, his son Joseph "Beau" Biden III—an Iraq War veteran and Delaware attorney general—passed away of cancer at just 46 years of age.
By coincidence: exactly 6 years ago today, as Vice President of the USA, Joe Biden sent this note to his staff.— dan barker (@danbarker) November 7, 2020
I presume in the background, thoughts of his first wife & daughter who died long ago; or his son, who died of cancer just a few months after this note.
Worth reading. pic.twitter.com/UwBbJ8A73i
Biden's letter left a lasting impression on social media users, some of whom noted the obvious differences between the President-elect and the current occupant of the Oval Office. "One man is famous for his empathy, and one became famous for firing people. One man embraced his weakness (stuttering) and works on it, and the other mocks those for their flaws. There is something to be said for decency and humanity," tweeted @tdao82. "Joe Biden never works on the anniversary of the death of his first wife and baby daughter, always takes that day off to remember them," commented Twitter user Victoria Redfern.
Exactly. I’ve worked for dentists that are slave drivers. Long hours, low wages, and temper tantrums. Work first, family second. And they wonder why there is so much turnover in their practice.— Devin Nunes’ Door Dasher (@fashiongranny1) November 13, 2020
And I’ve worked for the opposite. Compassionate, family first, and bonuses....
He is an incredible person. When you meet him his sincerity is genuine. You become instant friends. To insist his staff put family first does not surprise me at all. pic.twitter.com/MhJ2CR13wI— bonniebell (@Bonniebell_blue) November 15, 2020
"And apparently when he became a senator he used to commute from Delaware to DC daily so he could spend time with his sons after the death of their mum & sister," tweeted @mosseyuk. "The White House will get a much-needed dose of humanity and decency, which will go a long way in restoring our faith in the irrepressible goodness of the human condition," wrote John Mc Corry.
There's a lovely story about that just here: https://t.co/91HNF8mfki— dan barker (@danbarker) November 8, 2020
Thing is it wasn’t always clear he’d not make the 10 pm train. One night we made a mad dash. I thought we made it. But, PER PROTOCOL of being 23 and terrified of leaving Joe Biden at Union Station, I hung around. He called a couple minutes later and asked where I was.— Josh Zembik (@jzembik) August 21, 2020
What became clear over the next five minutes as Joe Biden asked the man about his life was that they were total strangers and that the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee just invited a random person to ride with us for 90 minutes in the dead of night.— Josh Zembik (@jzembik) August 21, 2020
CORRECTION: The Baltimore-Washington Parkway connects Baltimore to Washington and is the route we took - not the GW Parkway. I regret this embarrassing mistake.— Josh Zembik (@jzembik) August 21, 2020