A Letter to My Children After the Election

Dear Sweet Ones,

I don’t know how to explain to you exactly why this country voted the way they did. I understand we were all hoping for a different outcome.  Political pundits will be breaking this election down for the next several months.  There will be a hundred different opinions and reasons.

But I want to give you some advice as I sit here, tears streaming down my face, as I think about what this says about the America we live in.  I don’t want you to live fearful.  Let me bear that burden for you.  You are young and you still must have a heart of hope.

But I don’t know how the next four years will play out. So, as this election will be the first one you truly remember, I want you to learn some lessons that will help our country become the land it should be.  We aren’t there, yet, but maybe in your lifetime?

Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God.

Don’t let fear dominate your decisions.  God does not give us a spirit of fear.

Live a life that is bold, loving, and sensible.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Love, above all other things, love.

Stand with those that no longer have strength to stand.

When someone says they have been treated badly, believe them. For God’s sake, believe them. Don’t question it or deny it because you didn’t see it or you haven’t experienced it.  Come alongside them and mourn and lament and grieve with them.

When someone finds the bravery to admit they have been abused or assaulted or mistreated, believe them.

If you see someone being mistreated, help them. Remember the man beaten on the side of the road that was helped by someone who should have been his enemy?  Be that good Samaritan.

Stand up when you see someone being discriminated against.

If you win at something, don’t gloat.  If you lose, evaluate why, learn lessons, but don’t live discouraged.

Treat each other respect.  Regardless of how someone looks or where they are from or what they believe or who they love.

Learn boundaries and consent. You have no right to another’s body without their expressed consent.  Don’t assume you can touch another person without their permission. That’s mainly directed to you, son, but girls, learn it as well.

If someone is talking about another person in a degrading manner, stop it.  It’s not acceptable, no matter if in a locker-room or not.  Being cool is not worth degrading another human being.

It’s never okay to treat someone badly, ever.  People who say it is don’t deserve your respect.

When someone has to emphasize that they matter, it’s not because they don’t think you matter. It’s because they can’t be heard. It’s because they are crying for help.  Help them. Stand with them.

If you disagree with someone, sit down in person and talk with them.  Go and reason together with them.

Love Trumps Hate.  I’ve got to believe it will.

Don’t let your frustrations or disappointments ever lead you to hate.  Don’t let hate rule your heart.  Hate will eat you alive and hurt those around you.  If you start to hate because someone is different realize that is a lie straight from the pit of hell.

Violence is not the best answer.  Be a messenger of peace.  But try to sit with others if they feel rage and anger and listen to them.

Help the poor. Comfort the mourning. Be meek.  Thirst for justice.  Show mercy.

When they go low, you go high.

Love your enemies. You will make some, but love them anyway.

Don’t seek revenge.  It’s not worth it.

Be honest, even if it doesn’t benefit you.

Learn when to walk away from an argument.  Don’t cast your pearls before swine.

Believe in equality for all.

Get your news from a variety of sources, both those you agree with and those you disagree with.  It’s important to check your beliefs this way.

Realize that there is more to this life than just our country.  People around the globe matter and are suffering and we should help them.

Realize my sweet boy, that you have opportunities available to you because of your gender and your skin color. And don’t abuse that privilege.

Pray for those you find it hard to love.  You can’t hate someone if you are praying for them daily. You just can’t.

It’s okay to shed tears over injustice.  It’s okay to shed tears when you see oppression. Let those tears fuel your passion to defeat injustice.

Love, love, love.  Ultimately, I have to believe, that love wins.

Above all love.  Please, remember how much I love you and use that love to fill you up when you feel down, when you feel low, when you feel like no one is hearing you, when you feel alone.

And remember that not everyone is that fortunate to have that type of love in their lives, so again, love… love God, love others.

May love and mercy and justice be woven into your character.

A lady who put 65,500,000+ cracks in the glass ceiling that maybe you, my daughters, may one day break turned me onto a phrase that should be your life motto, like it is hers.   It is the words of John Wesley, and it goes:

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.

You three are my little beacons of hope right now.  My heart is hurting.  Be the change you want to see in the world.

All my love,

Mom

3 responses to “A Letter to My Children After the Election

  1. Beautifully written, Mandi. We may not agree politically, but I respect who you are and the journey you have been on these past several years. Like you, I don’t know what these next 4 or 8 years will hold for America. I pray that it won’t be the nightmare many fear and I also pray that it will be even half as bright as many others believe.

    Love breaks down boundaries. Respectful dialogue must happen and if our politicians continue to ignore that fact, maybe, just maybe, we as a people can show them how it’s done.

  2. So well written! So many people I know are fearful (especially those of color, LGBT, those of a religion other than Christianity, immigrants, and women) in my community and in many others. Love what you are teaching your children, and especially about boundaries and the need to respect them (because it can’t be said enough). #ItsNotOkay

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