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An Open Letter to Everyone Who Voted

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He was not my first choice; to be honest, I was one of the ones who said he was not ready to lead us. However, I have always believed in the message of “Change.” I want that change; change from the way things are and change from the way things are going. I realize that even though I was extremely proud and ecstatic over what had been accomplished, I was terrified that this election would mean nothing. Nothing to the people who said we needed to change, nothing to the young kids who had voted for the first time, nothing to those people who had never followed politics before.

The day after the election, I was sitting in the doctor’s office, listening to our new president elect’s speech. The news was on because everyone wanted to hear the media’s take on what happened. While listening to the people in the waiting room, I came to the realization that I was scared that as much as we might want the world to change, nothing was actually going to change. Not in four years, not in eight years, because as I got up to see the nurse, a young woman let the door close on a woman walking with a walker, outside some young men were cursing in front of some young kids, and a child sneezed and no one said, “God bless you.” This is what I was afraid of. Afraid that people wouldn’t attempt to change.

The message of change was not actually taken to heart by some. They didn’t understand what power they had to fix things, even something minute. They didn’t understand that change starts at home. That everything both candidates were trying to do would be in vain because our moral values had been diminished so far by fear, rejection, hate, and apathy. No one wants to help that young mother carry her groceries to her car. No one wants to help the elderly man cross the street. No one wants to tell another person’s child that it’s not polite curse. Everyone complains about how bad the economy is; however, a lot of us aren’t carpooling to save gas, we’re not watching each other’s children to keep from paying day care, we’re not going in with another family at Sam’s to buy bulk, we haven’t stopped stressing the importance of designer clothing, or stopped eating out.

When I was a child, my mother always said, “It takes a village to raise a child” and I knew exactly what that meant. We had respect for our elders, our neighbors made sure that we were safe, and our family extended to close friends. Today there are so many unknowns. There are people who just aren’t safe to be around. I can’t just leave my children with anyone because they may not be there when I come home. If I tell someone else’s child that she shouldn’t do something, then her mother might want to fight or kill me. This election meant so much and to so many people, but do the rest of us really understand completely what it means? Are we willing to actually attempt to make a change? Can we make a change?

Change starts at home! Change starts in our cul-de-sac! Change starts in our neighborhood! Change starts in our city! It doesn’t have to be every man out for his or herself. If this election proved anything, it proves that we as American people can come together. We can fight for something when we are tired of things not going right. We need to continue to fight! Don’t make this historic moment just a historic moment. Make it a historic time! Make everything you do from now on reflect the message of change. If you don’t, we will inevitably end up just the same and we will have let this opportunity for greatness slip through our fingers.


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