Dear Mr. President,
This letter is not about politics per se.It is, quite simply, born out of great love for my children and their character.I do not doubt your business acumen and I certainly cannot argue with your financial success.These things are evident in the corporate legacy that you have built for your own family.I do not doubt your own love for your children, as they appear to be reverential, intelligent and well-adjusted human beings, but I am, Mr. Trump, unsettled and apprehensive as your administration unfolds.
From the time that my four now teenaged boys were born, my dreams for their lives were a bit different than most.While it would delight me to have given birth to people who contribute to society in marked and notable ways, my singular prayer for their lives has always been that their character speak much more loudly than their title or occupation.My hopes and dreams for my daughter are much the same.Beautiful is quite often the first thing that people notice about her, but to limit the knowing to her physicality would be to deny the girl who is a creature in full possession of herself, a force with which to reckon.I believe in strong women, and she is one.
Lest you think that I believe their raising a responsibility of society, let me assure you that I do not. But these five little beings lost their father suddenly several years ago, and I watch as the culture, the climate of our country, and even the character of the one who holds the highest office in the land serves to shape what they are becoming, even as I find myself pushing against that influence.I watch, often with fear and trepidation, as the wide blue eyes of my boys search the landscape for elements and illustrations of what it means to be a man.
Mr. Trump, even in grief my children are not victims.They stand and they deal.They hold their heads high and they carry the world in their incredibly accessible hearts.They are rooted in faith and reaching for a world in need.Their wounds are deep but their dreams are mighty.They are children vibrating with imponderable potential and the responsibility of their rearing is great.There are passions to fuel and lessons to impart to these humans in full bloom.
I am teaching my daughter the responsibility that she has to herself to refuse the notion that women should be sweet, play nice, and sell their talents and aspirations short. I will continue to teach her to be comfortable in her skin and aware of her power.I am teaching my boys that their gender brings both staggering responsibility and undeniable risk.And I will impart in all of my children the value of different and the knowledge that sometimes the most peculiar people are also the most enchanting and valuable in their contribution.My dream for them is that they will continue to color and create with the reckless abandon of childhood, outside the lines of societal expectations, in courageous pursuit of that which fuels the fire in their souls.
And so what, you may ask, does this have to do with you?It has absolutely nothing and unreservedly everything to do with you, for you see, Mr. Trump, you, as the leader of the free world, have the power to influence the undoing of all that I am working toward.
So as you spend the first of many days in the highest office in the land, on this I ask you to reflect.A soul strengthened and purposed for leadership is concerned not only with what it seeks for itself but is equally burdened by what it seeks for those it leads. I ask, Mr. Trump, that you be transformed by the responsibility that you have to the least and the lost among us.I would that you be moved from behavior motivated by self-protection and self-absorption to actions that freely offer the world the gift of authenticity and humility.
I pray Mr. Trump, that your early navigation of government might be a crucible of sorts, in which the responsibilities of leadership become real, subjecting you to forces that will test and change the very core of your being, because strong core trumps style and competence in all circumstances.Remember sir that management is positional but leadership is personal, and a good leader is self-aware, self-reflective and self-regulating.Of this I ask you, on behalf of my children who will soak in, like sponges, your words and your actions.Inspire trust born of both character and competence.Care for and listen to the people of this land with inclusivity and genuine concern, because these are essential traits of good leaders.And know that there is always great value in a heart that is still and seeking before God.Be slow and thoughtful with your responses and receive feedback with open hands and broad shoulders even when you wind up with bruises and blisters, because the weight of the world, the character of this country and the wide-eyes of young children like my own, are centered squarely upon your being.
Leadership, sir, is a privilege that carries with it the inconceivable weight of great responsibility.In essence, we all have the potential to be extraordinary leaders when we draw from the deep well of self-examination, the knowledge of who we are, self-awareness, the understanding and the acknowledgement of not only our gifts, talents, strengths and beliefs but also our weaknesses, those vulnerable places that left unchecked can lead to negative consequences, and self-regulation, the ability to look at the things that impact and motivate us with clear wisdom and discernment.And perhaps one of the most important standards in leadership is that of compassion.To have compassion is to act out of genuine concern for others exhibiting empathy, optimism, kindness, patience and respect.To lead with compassion is to inspire purpose, hope, optimism and energy.
As the chaos of a divided country is played out before us, I would ask that you hear our hesitancy and fear.As you seek to gain the trust of the whole of this nation, I would implore you that trust is inspired by unquestionable integrity. It cannot be demanded, it can only be inspired.There is so much at stake, and you have so much to prove. The lives of millions depend on your success, not measured in terms of personal agenda but success measured in relation to the needs and desires of the people of this land.All of them. My inconvenient heart is burdened for a culture that has become debilitated and emotionally impaired. On this day, upon the writing of these words, I pray that you would cultivate a heart that knows both the gift of knowledge and the beauty of emotion.One that innately understands that intellect without compassion is of little worth.For the sake of the world, for the sake of this nation, for the sake of mankind, for the sake of all children, and as to not undo the making of mine.
Mother of Noah, Logan, Hannah, Luke and Jacob
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