Today is 11/9/16. Today is the first day of Donald Trump’s elected 4-year Presidency. A lot of mommy’s, like myself, woke up this morning wondering “what do I say to my kids today?” It’s now 8:12pm and the words are starting to come to me. This is what I have to say to you.
You will encounter many people in your life. Elie Wiesel had said, “There is divine beauty in learning… To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. The books I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers and disciples. I am the sum total of their experiences, their quests. And so are you.” You, and only you, get to choose who you see as a “role model.” If you only surround yourself with like-minded people, you will lack empathy and understanding for what and who is different from you. I’m not saying you need to agree with them. If they firmly believe that 1+1=3, hear them out. What happened in their lives, from their standpoint to believe this? You are at an extreme disadvantage because you will never know what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. You only have 2 feet and 1 life. But if you listen, and open yourself to understanding others and their experiences, your steps through that 1 life will be more solid with more meaning.
After the results were in, Van Jones broke down on CNN and said, “It’s hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids, don’t be a bully. You tell your kids, don’t be a bigot. You tell your kids, do your homework and be prepared. Then you have this outcome.” Not all decisions will make sense to you. You will lose jobs to people you feel you are more experienced than. You will be rejected by dates only to see them pick the “bad boy/girl”. You will lose games by calls you think are bad. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be upset. Don’t let it define you or consume you. Remember, you choose. I don’t believe our life is measure by moments, but rather how we respond in these moments. Be gracious, motivated, have convictions but remain open and kind.
There is light in all life’s unfairness. Your Uncle Bruce died way too young. It wasn’t fair. I was angry and sad. Still am. Very much so. It’s been 8 years and I still cry once a week. I’ll never understand why it was him. How everyone dealt with it spoke volumes to me about who I wanted to surround myself with, who I want to be and how I want to move forward. These are some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my adult life that I don’t know if I would have otherwise learned. There is some light – i’d trade that light in a second to get him back. It’s taken me far too long to see it, but there is light and it does guide me.
When everyone else is shouting “yes” and you’re shouting “no” – that does not mean you’re wrong. Different experiences, different upbringing, different ideals, equals different conclusions. But always, do your part and shout. Have an opinion, a voice and always vote. Elie Wiesel also said, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
Opinions are one thing, but when it comes to how we treat one another, there is no grey – there is a right way and a wrong way. Differences of opinion are one thing – hate is another. Labeling, name calling and belittling is wrong. There is no grey – it is never okay. Words are like toothpaste – once you squeeze them out the tube, it’s really hard to put back. There is no grey. If someone is not treating another right, speak up. Even if that someone is the President. Title is not a defense or a grey area. I repeat, my young ones, title is not a grey area.
Donald Trump is the President of the country. We can respect the decision of the country, of the amazing democratic freedom we have in this country to elect a President collectively. And we can help set him on the right path. 1st, we can graciously accept the decision. We can be sad but we do not need to have a tantrum. 2nd, we can continue to exercise our democratic freedom by voicing what we agree with and what we don’t. 3rd, we can decide what, how and who affects our lives and all humanity. Your role models are not decided for you. You decide who you elect for that responsibility. Everyday, I put myself on that ballot for you both to elect me as a role model. I’m learning, i’m bettering myself and extremely driven to get your vote. If not today, i’ll try again tomorrow my loveys. I’ll never stop having hope or trying for that position.