With your fourteenth birthday just around the corner, I am writing this letter to you to try to explain how and why things are occurring in your personal life and in our nation, for I unfortunately see many parallels, although, honestly, I cannot truly wrap my own brain around any of this.
I know by the age of fourteen, you have already witnessed unthinkable events in your own life– bullying, anger, intimidation, vulgarity, poor judgement, unforgiveness, manipulation, conditional love… and unfortunately I know these horrific events are imprinted within your heart and soul forever, and have affected you emotionally, spiritually and physically. For this, I will always endure an unfathomable pain–the beautiful child I’m supposed to protect from all of these evils has suffered greatly and I am profoundly heartbroken and sorry.
On election night, I was certain we would wake up to a different outcome. A beacon of light in our darkness. I couldn’t even bear to wake you up that dismal Wednesday morning with the unthinkable news. I was numb. I was nauseous. I was trapped in disbelief. There was enough pain going on in your life, and I was certain this election was to be the saving grace that proved to you that good overpowers evil. How was I going to explain this in any rational way? I’m still certain God has a plan; steadfast patience and prayer will overcome this chaos. For this I am certain, but I do fear for events that will occur in the meantime.
Brooke, I want you to know that this is not about where people stand on the political spectrum, and if anyone cannot see that this is not about Republicans or Democrats, they are ignorant. Period. This has nothing to do with bipartisan differences. Period. This is about basic humanity. This president is against half of the people who make up our country–he discriminates against Mexicans, Muslims, Women, anyone LGBT, anyone with disabilities. If you are a white male, you may have stopped reading by now because this doesn’t impact you, unless you honor the women in your life, respect diversity and all that America has fought for since its foundation, unless you have the most important trait known to humankind–EMPATHY. Trump has proven time and time again that he is incapable of empathy. In fact, he only has pride and respect for one person on earth–himself.
My Dear Brooke, sadly, bigoted and sexist people will feel empowered now. They will feel they can express evil freely. Smug condescension will become acceptable to many. Evil exists in this world. People yell. People threaten. People bully. Unfortunately, these people should never be given leadership roles. But there are people who will not tolerate such closed-minded narcissism! There are people who cringe at such malicious mindsets. There are people who feel they need a shower after hearing mean-spirited, thoughtless, impulsive, misogynistic beliefs. It is these people who will stand up and not allow such evils to overshadow all that we know is good in the world.
Let’s use the next four years, as you grow into a young woman, to make us stronger, kinder, more compassionate–feelings of anger and resentfulness are normal, but acting on them would be hypocritical. We are compassionate women. We are forgiving women. We are loving women. We are not perfect, but we wake up every morning with kindness in our hearts, ready to make a difference. We are Americans, but more importantly, we are Global Citizens. For now we will fight from our computers. We will march. We will protest. We will not support a president who can hurt women, who is homophobic, anti-semitic, anti-Muslim, and xenophobic. Throughout history, so many Americans, male and female have stood up to tyrants, have fought for freedom from discrimination, have given the ultimate gift to create a country that prides itself on diversity, equality and acceptance. We know that life is a gift–ALL LIFE.
Brooke, as a teen girl growing up in America in 2017, I need you to know you are so strong. I’ve seen your strength first hand. In fact, you are stronger than I have ever been! Strength is not demonstrated by the person who shouts the loudest; strength is not demonstrated by the person who intimidates others; strength is not demonstrated by the person who makes others feel weak and helpless. Those people are actually weak. They are afraid. They are insecure.
My daughter, you have seen all of my mistakes over the past several years, and there have been many. You have forgiven me because you know what love is. I have always been open with you about my faults and many other issues. Some people don’t agree with this–they say you know too much and perhaps that is true. Despite my imperfections as your mother, I do know I am raising a daughter that has tremendous empathy for others. You always see three sides to a story. You feel pain when others are suffering. My heart overflows with pride when I see you stand up to bullies, help the poor, carry groceries for an elderly man. The empathy you have for others is empowering!!! Don’t ever forget that. It is empathy alone that will keep goodness in the world. Without it, families crumble, wars commence, hate thrives. You hold within your heart the key to what will change any negative situation and change our country and world-empathy.
Brooke, I am here for you always. I love you with all of my heart. I am proud of who you are, of the sufferings you have had the strength to overcome, of the strong woman are are growing into. I honor your beliefs and know you are making a difference in the world each and every day.
Thank you for being you. I love you. Mom