This is not the year you will see a girl become the president of the United States. When you woke up Wednesday morning you told me your heart felt sad and confused. Mine did too. We didn’t get to talk about it because we were running late for school and work. As I sat at my desk, this feeling of sadness and distrust came over me. I figured you must be feeling the same way. So, I wrote you this letter to help you (me really) process what happened in our country.
You feel sad because when you saw Hillary lose, you saw yourself lose. Your hopes of being the next girl to run for president got pushed farther out of reach from your bony little hands. You feel sad because you saw someone play hard and to a great extent, play fair, and yet they lost. I too am sad that the woman who did all the right things and made all the hard sacrifices in order to become president did not win.
You feel confused because today, everything Dad and I have told you about being a good person has been turned upside down. We tell you to speak to others with respect, we tell you to put the needs of others before yours, we tell you to practice your piano, never cut corners, and to always treat others like the children of God that they are. We tell you to never repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with a blessing because you were called to a higher purpose––and so that you may inherit a blessing. (Paraphrase 1 Peter 3:9.) It kind of feels like evil was repaid with a blessing, doesn’t it?
Baby girl, today I beg you to not stop doing what is right. Doing what is right is always good, and we should never grow tired of doing it. But sometimes, mean people win and it hurts, and it does not make sense and it feels bad. But don’t let that bad feeling overcome you or you might lose a little bit of “you” in the process.
You are only 8 years old, and today your eyes have been opened to the sad reality that sometimes hate wins. You have inherited a society that enjoys being mean, doesn’t value civility, focuses on differences, ignores the needs of the least-of-these and only cares about preserving itself. Today thousands of our fellow brothers and sisters chose to side with hate. I do not know why sometimes hate wins. But now you know it exists in droves, and I am so sorry that I cannot protect you from that.
But you, my little chica, do not need to conform to the ways of this. You are still called to love, you are still called to kindness, you are still called to be a leader not a follower. You are still called to stand up to the bully. You have a great example in Jesus who while on earth, hung out with rejects, the poor, the misfits, the oppressed. He honored women and defended children long before it was cool to do so. That is your example, that is your standard no matter who is president. Your greatest weapon against evil is to live out the greatest commandment: love God and love your neighbor as yourself––even if your neighbor is unkind.
I love you, and I am always for you.