I felt compelled to write a letter of apology to my children upon waking up on Wednesday, November 9, 2016:
Dear Ian and Elle,
I am sorry.
I am sorry for what your parents’ and your grandparents’ generation has done. Electing Donald Trump to the presidency is the culmination of several decades of neglect and selfishness, and hopefully it will be our wake-up call.
We have neglected our fellow citizens, our planet, and our personal transformations. I want you to understand that Donald Trump is simply an outward reflection of our internal world – our anger, our sadness, our fear, and our disconnection from each other – our disconnection from love.
We have not cleaned up our messes and have created some tremendous new ones. We have broken our education systems by not investing in them. We have broken our capitalist systems by doing whatever we could – taking out of them whatever we could, as quickly as we could with our quarterly and annual greed – without investing in them. We have broken our environmental systems by pumping chemicals into our ground, our water, and our air, and then claiming we don’t know why there are a 1,000 earthquakes in Oklahoma or why the icecaps are melting.
We have neglected our personal transformation by not being willing to face our fears, sadness, and anger. We have invented more and more ways to numb ourselves and self-medicate – alcohol, drugs, sex, exercise, television, money, work – and we have glorified all of that behavior.
We do not love ourselves; therefore, we are not capable of loving each other or our planet…yet. We have work to do – to own our own shit and to clean up our messes – inside and outside. Fortunately, I believe love is reflected in two ways – words and action. Love is a word and an action.
Here is what I commit to you, my children: I will pick something that I can commit to in order to improve this world through my words and my actions. I am just not sure what it is going to be yet – I am asking for clarity as I write this. There are so many things I know I could personally commit to improving:
- Equal pay for equal work for everyone
- Education equality – providing the same education for our children no matter what neighborhoods they live in; providing affordable college education
- Healthcare coverage for everyone
- Environmental care for our planet
My outlook brightens as I think about you and the rest of the millennial generation, the generation we love to deride because we feel inferior. We know how truly amazing you are. Do not let us try to bring you down. You are the most intelligent, educated, self-aware, socially conscious, globally aware, connected, and kindest generation ever to live. We are lucky that you are so wonderfully capable of cleaning up the outside messes we have made.
You made it clear you wanted something different from this election – just not this version of “different” we gave you. You wanted a government that represents inclusiveness, equality, global consciousness, love. What we gave you was the last gasp of the old white male patriarchy, the last attempt of those who benefit from this system to regain hold of something they know is slipping away. This is that system’s dying breath, as those who have benefited try to resurrect it from its ashes. I have learned that we human beings have a tendency to cling to – and even fight for – the familiar, rather than take a chance on the unfamiliar and potentially fabulous.
I’m sorry that you had to see that there are times hate triumphs (which is really fear disguised). However, if good men and women choose to DO good, and use good words, I believe we can create a world that is fabulous. I do believe words create worlds. The words we use in our heads create our inner world. That is why I also commit to continuing my own work – owning my shit and cleaning up my own messes. I commit to being quiet, listening, taking care of myself, becoming more aware, becoming more connected, and to love. I commit to having good words inside so I can reflect them on the outside.
Then I commit to being LOUD to help create a better world. I commit to standing in love – not fear – in my efforts to make this world a better place for you and become a better human being. I ask you to help me and hold me accountable.
We have work to do.
I love you.