Inauguration Day

To my grandchildren.

My dear ones,

Today is inauguration day.  Today our country’s 45th president was sworn in, and became the world’s most powerful person.

I did not vote for this man.  I did not feel he would care for all of America’s people, all of America’s resources, all of America’s friends around the world.  I did not feel he would protect America’s future.  I voted for someone else.

I have always voted in presidential elections.  My candidate hasn’t always won.  This is the first time I can honestly say I fear for our future as a people.

The people of America have always struggled to agree.  Our country was founded by people who moved here because we couldn’t play well with others.  Some of our own family ancestors were pilgrims on the Mayflower.  They moved here to practice their religion freely, yet I understand they lacked understanding of others who wished to worship in their own way.  We are truly an independent, stubborn, arrogant people.

This election season has made a lot of us more interested in politics.  On the positive side, our citizens are becoming more actively involved in government, through protest, petition, and contact with representatives.  On the negative side, we see protests turn to riots.  In our conversations with one another, we have lost the ability to discuss and debate politics with respect and civility.  Friends become estranged, because they cannot find middle ground.  I believe this polarization has also happened in our government; there is no real consensus, no bipartisanship, no compromise.

Today, I am learning how to be an American.  Today, will learn what it means to respect the office of president, and how to respect the Republic, when I don’t respect the people holding office.

I will make things better where I am.  I will share my gifts with the people I meet, and I will shine my light as brightly as I can.

I will seek truth.  I will seek knowledge and wisdom.  I will seek discernment.

When I encounter falsehoods, I will point them out.  When I encounter injustice, I will speak out.

Finally, I will learn how to discuss politics with others.  I will not stick my head in the sand and pretend I have no opinion.  That would be the easy way.  I will share my thoughts and my concerns, and learn how to do so with respect.

America is beautiful in her diversity.  Every voice has a right to be heard.  Every experience is a thread in the fabric of our nation.  It’s mending time.

I will do all I can to make America a better place for you, and for your children.

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