Bob Dylan was right. As the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, his sentiments in song still capture the mood of the world today. Well, at least they capture my mood. There is a week left of the times we have known as a world for the past 8 years. My social media has been littered with farewells, collages, videos, thoughts. The world is unsure because they for the most part have trusted Barack & Michelle both to be steady, unyielding solid presences of strength, humility and humanity that will never leave. It has seemed almost incomprehensible that their time would end and yet here we are. Their final week.
And then once this final week is over, the times will change. These are times that fill me with hesitancy for I know the man taking on the role of POTUS can be somewhat unpredictable. But before we get into all of that, I think it’s only fair that we say thank you.
Thank you to Barack and Michelle and their family for flinging open the doors of the White House and letting us in. Thank you for being accessible and fun and giving many around the world joy.
A quick sidenote: Yes, Barack Obama paid out Donald Trump on the campaign trail but people also did the same to Hillary when Barack was her competitor.
Thank you for believing in equality of all types and for being excellent speakers. Thank you for caring about cultures and education and trying to make the lives of many better.
You have been compassionate eloquent graceful trailblazing leaders whom I look to up for many reasons, not least to guide me in my approach to dealing with challenges and problems that I will no doubt face in my lifetime. (Say it with me now: When they go low, we go high.) You have expressed curiosity about those who are different to you and have endeavoured to learn as much as you can from them in order to make your world bigger and more informed.
President Elect Trump and his wife Melania could learn a lot from the way you have interacted both with each other and everyone else that has crossed your path whilst in the positions of President & First Lady.
Barack and Michelle, we salute you and hope that you will continue to be prominent forces in our world. Going forward, I will be taking your approach to the President Elect and giving him my hope as I gave it to you and was fiercely rewarded for doing so.
To the President Elect, I say this: You have been elected the 45th President of the United States. This is a position of immense power and responsibility not only to every person no matter their gender, race, culture, creed, religion, age or ability that lives within the 50 states of your own country but to every person around the world. Do not take it lightly. Your campaign style was unlike anything we’d seen before and whilst I can confidently say we do not at all share the same views or opinions, I understand the importance of allowing the formation and airing of personal opinions. I also understand and respect that not everyone will think the way I do and an extension of that, not everyone will act as I do. That’s OK.
I am also fairly confident in my understanding of the election’s objectives; to win the position of President as you have done by making yourself appear the better choice hence I’m choosing to be optimistic in my belief that some of the things said by you and brought to the world’s attention during your campaign were merely a tactical means to an end. There are many of us hoping for this outcome. I am hoping that the cover you have presented us with does not speak for the book within
But to be clear: I am a woman who has control of my own body. I am not nor will I ever be acting as a plaything for men or boys. I am as equally capable as you or any individual in spite of my disability. I have faced challenges you will never understand. But I have hope ad nobody can take that from me because hate will never win. hope will always triumph.