Here is a final blog for 2016 from one of my students this semester. Ashley Pipari is a Senior double major in Communication and Political Science at the University of Delaware. She wrote this blog just days after the Election, thinking of her future children and how to explain this to them.
Read more student voices from the University of Delaware on my #BlogBlogProject.
Dear Future Children,
Please know that I believe in the United States democracy crafted by our founding fathers. I believe in the Constitution. I believe in the voice that each person has when casting his or her vote. I believe that we are all equal, even when society says we are not.
I believe that to make justified, well-educated decisions we must listen open-mindedly listen to both sides of an issue. Most importantly, I believe that regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and class, we have the power to change the world if we choose to. This has changed recently when Donald Trump became elected the 45th president of the United States.
When I cast my vote on November 8th, I thought I would one day be able to tell you that I played a part in making history; that I helped elect our first female president. It is with great sadness that I cannot tell you that.
I’ve sat and thought quite a bit since then as to what I would tell you. At first I thought I wanted to tell you how sorry I was that I could not tell you that we had once again broken the glass-ceiling. I thought I would tell you that it was with a heavy heart that I lost faith in our country. I thought I would spent countless words explaining to you how I lived through a period where misogyny and racism were more blatantly apparent than ever before. I thought I would remind you that no matter how much society beats you down and tells you that you’re not good enough, not rich enough, not pretty or handsome enough, or not smart enough, that I believe you are.
I thought I’d have to explain to you that these words would come from people around you in school, on the streets, at the store, and more importantly, from the media and “President Trump.” But I have chosen to tell you otherwise.
Instead of apologizing, I want to teach you to be better because that is the type of person I wish that you become. You deserve better, and furthermore, our country and the American people deserve better. We cannot let the words spewed by “President Trump” define who we are.
Instead, we will rise above it. Michelle Obama, our former First Lady, once said “when they go low, we go high.” I refuse to let growing up in a hateful society make you a hateful person. I want you to make the world a better place. I want you to feel loved and accepted is so that you can impress those same feelings upon others. I want to instill values upon you that allow you to accept others regardless of their opinions, political ideology, socioeconomic status, race, gender, or sexual orientation. More importantly, I want you to love and respect yourself so that you can love and respect others.
The 2016 presidential election is one that will be discussed in your history classes. The race between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was full of nasty, nasty hate speech.
The policies, or goals, for future America were never discussed, but the spewing of hate speech came from both sides. With you, I wish to instill that you learn from this historical battle. I hope you never feel the overwhelming anxiety that today’s children are feeling. I hope that you can go to school and make friends with anyone and everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and political ideology. I hope that your classrooms are a place for constructive conversations rather than bullying and divisive hate speech.
I hope that you feel empowered with words of constructive love rather than divisive hate. I hope that you strive to be the change that you, and I, wish to see in the world. That’s what I hope.
I hope that you learn “President Trump” was just you and me. “President Trump” sat in classrooms and learned the same material. “President Trump” wasn’t born into the world with this hate, but he was rather taught how to hate by society. It is my goal to instill that I keep hate out of your hearts and rather fill them with love and optimism.
I strive to see you make changes and work hard for the things you want in life rather than expect them to be handed to you. I seek to see your heart fill with joy when you make a change, and I hope that joy lasts forever. I hope to create an environment where hate doesn’t exist for you nor is it created by you. Believe me, I don’t agree or even like everything “President Trump” says or does, but rather than be offended by it, I mobilize to change it.
I seek to find ways to spew love in the same places he spews hate. I realize that changing one person could ultimately change the world. I hope to see you embark on journeys in your life where you accept everyone that comes near you rather than push them away for irrelevant reasons.
In the eyes of despair, I will fight for you to see hope. I want you to shine your light on the world and show what it is like to love and be loved in return. I hope you know that regardless of the factors surrounding you, that you are the same as the little boy or girl sitting next to you in the classroom- you are no better and you are no worse.
I hope you know that you were put in this world for a reason and I hope that you strive to find the good in world and show love to all. I hope that you don’t let the words of society harden you, but you let your words soften the hearts of those around you.
Be the change you wish to see in the world. Show love, kindness, and acceptance, rather than hate, bigotry, and rejection. Make friends with anyone and everyone. Pursue your passions. An act of kindness can go a long way, and I hope that you can one day see that.
I will instill these values in it, and one day I hope you realize what a difference you’ve made in your own life and the lives of those around you. You have the ability to make the world a better place, but that starts by learning to love yourself so you can love those around you (Just watch Hillary Clinton’s Concession Speech).
In the current time of despair, I write this to you with a heart of hope. “President Trump” has yet to take his Oath of Office, but when he does, I will still hold this hope. I will hope that I can instill values in you to make differences in the world, both big and small.
I hope that you will not let defeat or divisive talk change you, but you will find this as a mechanism to spread hope and kindness. Amid the fear of a Donald Trump presidency, I have hope that you will one day be the difference I wish to see and strive so hard for in this world.
Love Always, Your Hopeful Mother
This blog was written for a class taught by Dr. Lindsay Hoffman by Ashley Pipari, University of Delaware, 2016.
I will continue publishing student blogs as well as my own perspectives here at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/lindsayh-183.