Wednesday Letter: November 9, 2016

To my future babies,

Last night we witnessed history in action. Not only that, we played a part in history: we voted in the 2016 Presidential Election. One day soon, when you are big enough to go to school, you'll learn the names of all the Presidents of the United States. And as of last night, a new guy has been added to the list, Donald J. Trump.

This last year of campaigns has been a real pain (see what I did there?) but all joking aside, it's been pretty weird. There has been name calling and bullying from both sides. People have been scared. People have been hurt (physically and emotionally). There have been riots and rallies. Emotions and adrenaline have coursed through every American's veins, Facebook statuses and Twitter feeds. Friendships have waxed and waned. The media has covered it all (whether they covered up or uncovered is the real question). Fear has played a big role in the lives of many over the last year. Promises have been made. Threats have escaped the tongue of too many. And many Americans are struggling with the outcome of last night's election outcome.

Now is not the time for excuses or hatred or division. Now is the time that we must come together. Just like the saying goes, "United we stand, divided we fall." We need one another, no matter who the President of the United States is. Last night the phrase, "One nation, under God, indivisible, with justice for all." rang through my head. Last night we were divisible. We were divided. And as long as we label and name call we will never be united. Calling those that supported President Trump bigots, misogynists, racists, xenophobic, etc. is no better than the things he or Hillary said to or about the other during the election. So many people have fought to remove labels and prejudices and here they are slapping labels on others.

One title (not label-- there IS a difference) we can and should wear proudly is American. I am from America and I am so proud to be an American. I grew up in a (very, very) small town in southern Nevada and was taught to be proud of where I am from. People in my town made mistakes, said and did stupid things, and yet, I am still proud to be from Bunkerville, Nevada. I am not from Mesquite, I am from Bunkerville. People in America have made mistakes, they say and do stupid things all the time (turn on the news, you'll see) but I am still proud to be an American.

One great thing that I learned in elementary school is that America is a melting pot of everything Mother Earth has in her pantry. Sometimes when we throw everything together, it can be a little weird. We all bring something special and different to the melting pot. Our table is surrounded by so many different kinds of people with different opinions and backgrounds. And that is something special.

My sweet babes, every human being is important. Every human being makes mistakes. No race or religion is higher than the other. Truly treat people the way you wish to be treated. Embrace differences, for that is how you grow. Befriend the lonely. Love the hated. Be kind. And then be even kinder. 

When things don't work out the way you hoped they would, it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be disheartened. It's okay to be frustrated. It is not okay to name call. It is not okay to be mean. That is not okay. When things don't work out the way you'd hoped, take a step back, dust yourself off and work a little harder. Bust those buns & get stuff done. 

Voting is such a special privilege that we, as Americans, get to do. Don't ever let anyone take that right and opportunity away from you. But please, please, please, respect the office when all is said and done. I understand how heartbreaking and difficult it is to have the person you voted for lose. I get it. But respect the office and keep voting for what you feel to be right.

As I was listening to the scriptures last night, this phrase brought me so much hope: 

"cheer up your hearts, and remember that [you] are free to act for yourselves..." {2 Nephi 10:23} 

Many have asked what we tell our children now that the President Elect is Donald Trump. Here's what I'm telling my future babies now: People are good. There


still goodness in the world.


can be that goodness. The President of the United States cannot act for you, only you can act for yourself. America is a blessed nation-- we can be outraged with the government AND SAY IT OUT LOUD. We can worship the way we want to worship; do not take that for granted or try to take that away from someone else. Have hope because YOU can still

be a force for good

in the world, in your community, in your circle of friends, in your family, and in your own life.