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A Letter to my Daughters, post election

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A Letter to My Daughters,

Don’t worry.

Isn’t it my job as a mother to tell you not to worry? Even though you woke up to see me in tears over my morning cup of coffee? Even though, when I tried to explain the results of this election in an unbiased tone, my voice quivered unconvincingly? Even though, after I sent you on your way to school with a hug that lasted a little longer than normal, I worried about what the future holds for you as female Americans, my strong, beautiful daughters?

How do I tell you not to worry when I, myself, am worried? When what I see and hear on TV and on every social media platform is fighting and yelling and dissention and hatred, evidence of a country so utterly divided? When I’ve come to question whether or not the country I love still stands for the values and principles I hold so dear?

Yesterday, after you went to school, I mourned. I felt pain akin to experiencing the death of a loved one. I wondered if I was being overdramatic, when my tears were so close to the surface and my thoughts raced. I tried to tell myself that even though my candidate didn’t win, we will move on as a country. That I will move on. I wasn’t always able to convince myself. I thought about our family’s past as Holocaust survivors and their journey to this Promised Land as immigrants and wondered if that American ideal still exists.

When the text came through on Daddy’s phone at 3:00 in the morning announcing the winner, I had already been fitfully tossing and turning, but from that moment on I was wide awake. I cried. I worried. Now, a day later, I don’t feel as raw. I am stunned by the reaction, the protests and backlash, by the need for so much healing across this land. Girls, we are truly experiencing history, and whether it’s for better or for worse has yet to be determined. I want to believe it’s for the better.

Here’s what I can tell you. This can be a turning point for good. We can move beyond party lines to find common ground. I know friends and family who don't see eye-to-eye with me, but that doesn't make them the enemy. We can work together to instill a general sense of human decency in how we communicate with each other. We can really listen to each other, and not just regurgitate hate.

Also, In the past, I may have shown unconscious apathy. I may have donated here and there to charities and causes without much thought after the check was written and the envelope sealed. But because of this election, I will take an active stand. I will volunteer not just money, but time and effort to organizations I truly feel are threatened and causes I truly feel are worthwhile. I am determined, through action, to make this country a reflection of what I value and cherish, giving everyone the rights they deserve. I am hoping to lead by example, to show you that you, too, can fight for what you believe in. And that, no matter what, there is always hope.

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