I, like many of my friends and family, awoke this morning feeling disappointed and anxious. I’ll admit, I’m relieved that, at two years old, my daughter is blissfully unaware of the hate-filled rhetoric that characterized the 2016 US election, and I am not burdened with the responsibility of explaining the outcome to her. That said, I was distracted today by thoughts of what I want for her in the next four years and beyond.
My daughter will learn of the world in these early years almost exclusively by watching and listening to her father and me…
I want her to see two people who judge others by their individual words and actions, not by stereotypes thrust upon a group to which they belong, either by choice or by birth. I want her to see two people who overtly and firmly oppose prejudice. I want her to see two people who calmly debate any issues on which we disagree using reasoned arguments, seeking understanding and common ground, and while always, always showing respect for each other. I want her to see two people who praise individuals, past and present, who exude our values on stages larger than our own. I want her to see two people who, whenever possible, offer the benefit of the doubt and approach life with optimistic attitudes. I want her to see two people who offer kindness to all humans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or age. Above all, I want her to see two people who spread love.
Though it was brief, this was a tough post to write. I am rarely at a loss for words entirely, but it is sometimes hard to write in a way that accurately reflects my thoughts. Even now, I’m not sure I’ve achieved anything, but it was enough to loosen the knot in my chest and quiet the chatter in my brain.
Choose kindness. Spread love. Goodnight.