Dear President (elect) Trump,
Congratulations seem to be in order. I know I am just one small voice in a raging sea of many, but I know every now and then, someone stops to listen for the sound of silence or the whispered voice amidst the cacophony of noise trying to drowning it out. My voice is but a whisper, a silence beneath a tempest of discontent. Silence can speak volumes and a whispered word can be heard clearer than a shout, if anybody stops to hear it.
I’m going to be honest, I, like so many Americans have been conflicted. I’m not one who often tosses her two cents into the heated pool of political conversations others readily dive in to. I prefer to keep my head above water, so to speak. Right now though, I’m going to take a few timid steps into the shallow end, just enough to get my feet wet.
You are soon to be the leader of a great nation, a powerful nation . . . a divided nation.
I’m sure you have many ideas on how to make it greater, as have those presidents who came before you. Some of them were great men the people respected and admired, others were men who thought they were great and demanded respect and admiration. Those men are only remembered for their shortcomings and failures, shortcomings and failures that led them and our country down the wrong path.
Respect is a tricky thing, you have to give it to get it. It is earned, it is reciprocated. Mr. Future President, the people deserve respect, they deserve a leader they can respect. I don’t see it right now.
This isn’t all on you. This is about us, as a nation, as a people. No one person brought us to this precipice, and if we don’t reach out to each other, we will be falling over the edge one by one until there aren’t enough people left to save.
Please remember that your job now is to lead, to make decisions that will better our country, our economy, our relationships with other nations. It is your job to broker peace, within our borders and beyond.
It is your job to represent the people of the United States of America in a way that reflects our values, not the values of some, but of all. It is your job to humble yourself before the people and do right by every citizen. It is your job to make decisions based on what is right and best, to listen to those around you. Listen to your fellow leaders, listen to your advisors, listen to the people.
Great leaders lead with not only their minds, but their hearts. They lead by example, they lead by listening, by understanding. They understand their role is not about power, it is about empowerment.
Mr. Future President, it is my prayer that you find balance, that you listen to everything around you with an open mind, that you base your decisions on more than checks and balances and bottom lines. I pray you seek direction and advice and opinions before you make conclusions and choices that effect our country and her people.
It is my prayer that you learn and grow as you lead, that you speak with intelligence and poise, that you posture yourself with a grace befitting of a leader. I pray you articulate your thoughts in a way that those who hear them will understand, in a way that leaves people with a sense of security. That your speech be measured and carefully constructed.
It is my prayer your heart be softened and your resolve firm, that the people are your first priority and you seek direction and advice and give heed to it.
The race is over and now the work begins . . .
Mr. Future President, the people of the United States of America need a leader who will be more than a leader, we need you to be one of the people – to walk with us, to put yourself in every single one of our shoes before choosing which path to follow.
Before I step out and dry my feet, I have one last thought. Be a good human, Mr. Future President, the world needs more of those.
Crystal R. Cook, citizen . . . .