• It’s Not Political, It’s Personal-A Letter To My Daughter

    Dearest Daughter,

    You and I are both women and I’m so very grateful.  We women can be wonderfully diverse, but we must always celebrate one another because being a woman is a spectacular gift.  As you’ve realized, women feel everything and because of this ability, some have felt a sting this election year.  There’s been an intense hostility from all angles and I haven’t been immune to it.  I’ve been affected and therefore, I have been reflecting.

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you I felt the times in grade school when I was told I ran, kicked, hit like a girl.  I felt the times in which men (and women) said the only reason I was accomplished in my previous profession was because I was attractive.  I felt the times I overheard the only reason husband was attracted to me was because I was young and had him under my spell.  Of course once he was under my spell, he helped my career.

    I felt all the times in which I was the recipient of mild sexism to major sexual harassment in the workplace, by mentors, teachers and a coach.

    EVERY woman I know can wax on about stories like these for days no matter their outward appearance, race or religion.  But, beautiful daughter, the most shameful part was I thought I had to take it.  I almost always took what was coming because for a long time I thought that’s the way our society works.  I didn’t want to be seen as melodramatic.  I didn’t want to make waves. 

    The hard reality is no matter how hard I try to shield you from it, you too will stumble upon humanity; the beauty of it as well as its evils.  If a middle-class, Midwestern white girl has endured sexism over the past forty years, what must marginalized populations feel like in our country?  What have they had to endure day after day and year after year?  Unfathomable.  Immeasurable.  The moment I focus on how cruelly people are treated simple because of their skin color, the person they love, the gender they associate with, the religion they practice or the mental or physical disability they live with, I get physically sick.  I get filled with rage and malice equivalent to the blinding hatred that is oftentimes concentrated on these individuals. 

    These emotions are valid and can be helpful, cathartic and most of all, motivating.  You will also experience these feelings, but my hope is that you don’t spiral into despair and hopelessness about humanity.  The more time you spend stewing on the ugliness, resentment builds and the harder it is to use your energy, time and gifts to help others. 

    My ultimate prayer is that you develop overwhelming compassion and the strength to advocate for those around you who need it most, including yourself.  I’m thrilled to see what the future holds for you.  Alas, this year wasn’t the tipping point, nor is it the end.  The world continues changing and evolving.  As such, people resist change because it scares them and when people are scared, they make choices based upon fear.  It’s simply human nature and no one is perfect, including me (which you've gathered already).  As I’ve told you, fear is the opposite of love. 

    You see, we are part of one another, past and future generations, and it will continue to be a process.  Perhaps in your lifetime it will become commonplace for people to be devoid of judgement, asking thoughtful questions and exhibiting respect for one another.  Once these fundamentals are understood, humankind will be propelled forward like never before. 

    Above all precious daughter, all treasured children of the world, never forget that you have tender, exquisite hearts with a natural capacity to love.  

     

    All My Love,

    Mommy

     

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