Letter to my teen boys

reposted from the day after Election Day, 2016

As a country we have elected a tax cheat and business fraud, a classic con artist, to be our president. He’s inexperienced, ill-informed, and not a nice person. It’s not likely to go well. But he is our next President.

Two things I need you to know. First, you do not have to be like him to be happy and do well in this world. It would be better if our political leaders were people we wish we could aspire to be, but this will not be one of those times. Work hard, be kind and considerate to others, and the rest will fall into place.

Second, our politicians do not embody “America” or what it means to be an American. They should, but they usually don’t. That belongs with us. How do you want America to be seen by others? That is how you behave. My image of an American is someone who shows grace and class, is empathetic of others and their struggles, and builds others up instead of tearing them down. When our leaders do not represent our values, it only means we have more work to do — forming bonds, representing others’ needs as well as ours, and sometimes, resisting. This will be one of those times.

You are great children and will soon be great men. Become who you want to be, not what our society has selected as a your model.

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