There is so much that I want to say about the election results. So, so much. I’m not even American, and yet I feel the shock waves so deeply, and fear what this outcome will mean for our world. I feel for the parents who have to explain to their children that an under-qualified and hateful individual now is in a position of power, and especially for the parents who now have to be concerned for their child’s safety based on the color of their skin, the religion they choose to practice, or how they identify their sexuality. I feel for the educators today, who will have to go into classrooms and answer questions from children who are scared for what this means. I feel for the people in the States who are not white males, because real talk? Unless you are a white male in the United States right now, it is clear that your new President does not have your best interests at heart.
The election is over, and we cannot change the results. What we CAN do, is offer love, acceptance and kindness to all those who need it. So today, as you wait for the bus, or wait in line for your coffee, or call customer service to complain about your recent purchase – remember that what our world needs now, is love. Smile at the person who takes your order, say hello to those waiting with you, speak with compassion and not anger, build connections, spread love, and be the change that you want to see in this world.
There is so much more to be said… but right now… right now my focus is on how this impacts the most important people in my life. Specifically, my daughter.
Dear Little One,
My hope is that I can help shape a world in which you are safe to express your opinions, in which you are not held back due to your sex, and in which people of all race, sex, religion, and sexual orientation are treated with the same level of respect as a human being. I hope that my generation can have a positive impact on important issues such as climate control, and that I can leave this world a better place than I entered it. I am most concerned that I raise you to be a kind, loving, accepting person who cares for those around you and who actively works to have a positive impact on our world. I pray that you know your worth in this world, that your opinion is just as valid as any male, that you deserve to have your own space in this world, and that your body is your own and no one can tell you what to do with it.
Today, the world was shocked when we found out that someone who embodies the exact OPPOSITE of all of those sentiments was elected into the White House, and now holds the highest office of one of the most influential countries in our developed world. As scary as that is, what is even more paralyzing is the sheer number of individuals who put him there, and the commentary that makes on the majority of society as a whole.
My job as a parent just got harder. I will have to be diligent in my efforts to actively SHOW you, and all those around you, kindness, love, and acceptance as we move through life together. I will have to ensure that I teach you that despite the ugliness of the world, there is good, and that good will prevail. I will teach you that no matter how grim something may seem, there is always hope, and to never compromise your values or your convictions. I will have to double my efforts to create an environment for you where you know love and encouragement, where I push you to grow and learn, where I hopefully help you develop confidence and bravery to unabashedly be your true self.
I will also have to teach you that sometimes… sometimes my girl, the bad guy wins the fight. But they do not win the war. That is a promise that God made to all of us, and all I can do is do my best to protect you from the ugliness in the world, while equipping you with the tools you will need to protect yourself when I am no longer able to do it for you.
Many people in our world are scared today, and you are too young to understand why. One day, students will learn about this election in their history classes, and my most fervent hope for the world is that the lesson they take away from this, is that our country – our WORLD – is stronger together than divided, that hatred, racism and sexism are not tolerable, and that all humans were meant to be EQUAL.
The world may have gotten a little bit scarier today, but I will never stop trying to make it a better place for you to grow up in.
I love you