As of today, Hillary’s road to becoming the 45th President has officially come to an end. Yet, the difference she has made, and the hope she has given me living in America as someone from Canada, continues to inspire me each and every morning. That we are all human: perfectly imperfect. She reminds me to be mindful when I interact with the world, to be patient when I speak of change, and to be true to yourself even when that’s not always a clear path. As the world continues to exist as one of anger, fear and divide, and as America moves towards an uncertain future, I wanted to share with you my letter that I sent to Hillary with our Christmas card that (I hope she reads it! Our card is pretty cute!) to remind us that it is up to us if we live divided, or united. I intend this not to be about politics, but about the possibilities within each of us.
I hope this finds you well. Wishing you, Bill, your family, and your dogs a very Happy Holiday!
I’ve been wanting to write you a letter for months, but I got caught up with worrying about saying the right thing. Then in a Positive Psychology class I am taking, I was given this assignment: Write about a person who you admire or respect. Why do you respect them? Include the traits and characteristics that lead you to feel the way you do about the person. The person can be a family member, historical figure, or anyone else. This was my calling to write to you.
Learner. Listener. Grace. Class. Vision. Unity. Stamina. These are just a few of the traits that come to mind when I think of you, and just a few reasons why I admire you so much. Living in Canada, I always admired you from afar. This year, we moved to Philadelphia right in the midst of the Primaries. It was at that point, that I really got to know you. I was inspired to see what was on TV, and to dig deeper for the fuller story. For your entire life, you have dedicated yourself to building communities, to fostering meaningful relationships, to modeling with forgiveness, and to live with passion. And then against all odds, you decided to run for president. When expectations told you no, you smiled and went for it anyway.
I was in the same room as you once. It was the day after the DNC in Philly. You seemed a little tired, but you didn’t let that hold you back. You got up, challenged our perspectives, empowered our minds, and inspired our hearts. Even in your tired state you were more awake than many of us, and for that, I respect you. It was that day that I decided that if I couldn’t vote, I could volunteer, I could wear a shirt, and I could put up signs. I think my partner and I became your number 1 fans that day. As Canadians living in America, you also inspired us to really learn the American election system, to better understand you and your story, and to learn how to more effectively use our voices. And for your last rally in Philly, even though I didn’t get in after waiting in line for 4 hours, it still felt amazing that I was part of such a united happy moment.
Recently, and consistently (as you well know 🙂 ), you have been criticized in a such unrelenting fashion that if I were you- it would have crushed me. So much that was unfounded, and simply came from a place of anger, blame, and fear. I would have resented those against me- but somehow you found compassion. When other people played dirty, you stayed poised, prepared, and patient. You adjusted your perspective, you listened, and you changed. And when you didn’t win, you took a minute to breathe. For what seemed like the first time in 2 years, you took one beat for yourself. You allowed yourself to be human. I admire you more for that. You took care of you, for one minute, so you could come back more present, mindful, honest, and presidential than ever.
And through it all, you projected a world of positivity with a voice of possibility.
Thank you for standing up for diversity, for inclusion, for the environment, for people who don’t have a voice, for people who don’t use their voice and for the future, even when you were pushed down. Thank you for reminding us all that we don’t need to win to make a difference. Thank you for calling us to action by showcasing that this country is not as united as we have pretended it to be. And thank you for showing us how one person, one vision, one voice alone will never be enough, and is never the right way. We can only be stronger together, and I must believe that love will trump hate. We have a lot of work to do in America, and around the world, and I’m ready.
Thank you Hillary for inspiring me to be a more grounded, a more informed, and a more compassionate neighbor and friend.
Legal Resident Alien Canadian-American