The whole world is watching us — now more than ever. And our children are watching us.
I hope and pray that in the next four years — no matter what your stand, your religion, your political party, your race, your gender, your preferences, your status —
That you choose kindness over righteousness,
build bridges instead of walls,
value dignity and respect over bullying and intimidation,
choose love and reaching out instead of fear and lashing out, grow more inclusive instead of divisive,
practice compromise instead of fueling hatred,
become more educated and broad minded, and less reactionary, judge less, and listen more,
choose empathy over rejection.
Above all, may you continue to uphold all the hard won progress and positive changes our country has made in the last 50 years — regarding women’s rights, the environment, everyone’s civil and equal rights, and all the protections we have gained in health, the workplace and industry.
Other countries have followed our lead for many years, have been inspired by us and even fought and died for us, as we have also fought and died to keep others free. Other countries have believed in us, our democracy, our freedoms, our championing of human rights. Even though we have made many mistakes along the way, we have often been forgiven because of what our Constitution stands for, because the Statue of Liberty is still standing in our harbor, no matter who is our president.
Dear America, don’t let me down now. Most crucial of all, don’t let the planet down. I have lived through World War II, Korea, the McCarthy era, the threat of the atom bomb and the Cold War. I saw a wall go up and divide a country until at last it came down because walls never work. Many walls of inequality and discrimination started coming down in the 1960s. Now the planet itself is at stake. Our country is part of that planet, we are not separate from it, we cannot be walled off from it, we are inextricably linked to every living thing on this earth — every human — whether poor or foreign or of different faith — every plant, every creature, every country. Their welfare is our welfare.
Dear America, please let everyone to be kind to each other and to all life. In the end, we are all in this together.