Saturday, July 30, 2016

210. A letter to Melanie

Dear Melanie,

I’ve avoided politics this week. I don’t know how long presidential campaigns will be when you’re old enough to vote, but I’ve reached a breaking point here during the summer of 2016. And I consider myself to be a pretty passionate guy about politics. But my heart softened a bit tonight as I watched Hillary Clinton take the stage to accept the presidential nomination.

Hillary will hopefully be the first women president of the United States. I hope by the time you are of voting age a woman running for president will no longer be a newsworthy item in and of itself. I hope that many women take senior leadership positions in government and corporations. I hope that the stigma and sexism associated with a woman in power has disappeared. I don’t know if Hillary will be the one to destroy all of those negative things, but I’m hopeful that she’ll help.

I’m so happy that you’ve been brought up with such awesome women in your life. Make sure to listen to your mom, your grandma, and your aunts. They all helped me become a better person. I know they will for you as well. I hope you don’t forget about your GG. She was an inspiration in my life and a woman I looked up to.

I’ve thought about you a lot this summer with the campaign. I’ve gotten down about it a lot. There have been so many negative ads, so much slime, and so much awful stuff that will make one lose hope in Democracy. Both candidates have their faults, but only one candidate painted a portrait of America that I agree with: Hillary.

There has also been a lot of talk about how women my age don’t appreciate Hillary and the barriers she has been breaking. Your grandpa was a history teacher and I’m guessing he’d want you to remember the past. So remember this: women struggled for years to get the right to vote and many other basic things that you probably take for granted. It’s a big deal right now that Hillary was chosen to be a candidate for president. Don’t forget your past.

What I want you to take away from this letter is that you should never, ever give up on optimism. Pessimism is easy. Negativity is easy. Being cynical and divisive is easy. Don’t do those things.
Being hopeful is hard. Being positive is hard. Being optimistic and inclusive is hard. Do these things, no matter how difficult it feels. These are the things your Aunt Kathy (my mom) taught me.

I’m guessing you’ll read this soon, but I hope you keep it for later when you’ve gotten a little bit older. I hope that when you read this again that things are more peaceful. I hope that you’ve figured out your dreams in life and that you go full speed ahead towards them. I know that Hillary isn’t the main reason for doing those things, but don’t forget about what she stands for.

You’re smart, wonderful, beautiful, and kind. You can do anything. Don’t forget that.

Love, Nick

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