An Open Letter To...
An open letter to:
President Donald Trump,
Fmr. President Barack Obama,
Members of Congress,
Political advisers and pundits,
Members of the press,
and to all celebrities and entertainers,
I'm writing you regarding our nation and the direction we are moving as a people.
As I'm sure you are well aware, being in the public eye carries with it some distinct advantages as well as unique challenges. For example, those in the public eye sometimes have opportunities afforded to them many others do not have. On the other hand, they also have a greater likelihood of being the target of much harsh criticism, unjust judgments, and harmful rhetoric. While these things are inherent to the positions you hold, they no doubt impact you in ways many do not understand.
Still, there is one aspect to being in the public eye which is far more significant than any of these. It's something that can be used to do good, or to bring harm. It can lift people up, or tear them down. It can even affect people's lives for better or for worse, regardless of intention.
What is it? It's the opportunity to influence people.
No doubt you have noticed that people in our nation have become more and more at odds with each other in recent years. Anger and frustration have grown, vitriol has been on the rise, and in some cases, violence has erupted; I'm sure someone in your position knows this well. However, what tends to go unseen is just how much people have suffered because of these things. In fact, I dare say many have suffered losses greater than they currently recognize.
In the midst of the fervor and the venom we have experienced, hopes and dreams have been lost. People's sense of safety and security have been shattered. Relationships have been fractured, and sometimes severed. And tragically, lives have even been cut short. Not only that, but many live with fear, anxiety, anger, bitterness, and in time... remorse.
The people have been greatly harmed by these things; in fact, our nation has been harmed by these things. Yet, there are those who still persist in their efforts to deepen the divide for their own gain. Should they continue, and should they be allowed to succeed, the greater and more intensely people will suffer.
Many believe it is of the utmost importance for their side to win, and are willing to do almost anything to make that happen. They believe that once they win, everything will finally be okay -- all their hopes and dreams will finally come true. However, what they fail to realize is that making enemies of our neighbors mitigates any gains by creating much greater losses. There can be no peace and safety for anyone when half of our nation is disgruntled, regardless of what half that may be.
As those who have the attention of this nation, and of the world, you've been given the distinct honor of being leaders to the people; perhaps this isn't what you intended, but it is so nonetheless. So when you speak, people listen. When you act, people react. And when you move, people move with you. It is an awesome, yet fearful responsibility the weight of which only the wise among you will discern.
And so, for the sake of this great nation, and for its people, I humbly ask you to choose to be a uniter, not a divider. I ask you to not participate in the vitriolic, side-based rhetoric that demonizes those who are not on your "team." Instead, calm the rhetoric, and lead the people with integrity and honor. Keep your own house in order by calling out those who seek their own gain at the expense of others, or at the expense of our nation. Promote peace and unity, not discord and division. It's okay to defend yourself when attacked, but do so by turning back their attack justly.
It's going to take time to heal -- many are the wounds of our generation. But as the people see their leaders traveling the right path, they will begin to do so as well. Then their lives will improve, and the vitriol we have experienced individually, and as a nation, will begin to subside.
As has been correctly stated time and time again: united we stand, divided we fall. This doesn't mean we must all agree or must take up the same set of beliefs, but it does mean we must live in peace with one another. This is our nation -- all of ours -- and we must all seek to remain united, or we will fall.
In closing, I pray for your safety, your heath, and your well-being; I also pray that God grants you understanding and wisdom so that you may exercise both in all you do.
May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.
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