Many of us woke up this morning with heavy hearts and the realization that yesterday was a moment in history that will forever change our future. It was a day that shattered dreams, caused us to question human decency and left the world uncertain of what’s to come.
It is easy to understand the despair of many and the grief of others. It is not so easy to appreciate the celebratory mood of those who claimed victory in yesterday’s U.S. political election. The world has looked to the United States for leadership. It is a land of entrepreneurs, a land where dreams can be realized and where anything is possible. It is a country that not only encourages, but also rewards and recognizes bravery and courage. It is a country that, at its foundations, recognizes the value of the individual.
Hilary Clinton graciously conceded defeat to Donald Trump. However, she refused to be defeated, and she still “believes in an America that is hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted.”
Today, the need for a conversation of inclusiveness and diversity has never been stronger or more relevant. It is bigger than one single issue or political party. It is not just an American issue, nor is it simply a minority, or gender, or religious, or racial issue. This is a human rights issue, and it requires the willingness of communities, countries and governments to work together and acknowledge the value of individuality and diversity for the collective human interest.
If there is to be long-term societal attitudinal change, we will all need to participate in the conversation. It starts with us, not only in how we articulate our support of diversity, decency and respect, but also in the actions we demonstrate to our children, colleagues, friends and neighbors. We contribute to the global shift toward dignity when we are kind to strangers, when we show compassion to those in crisis, when we are tolerant and respectful of different cultures and beliefs or when we lend a helping hand to someone in need.
Today, when you see the questioning in your children’s eyes, when you hear the innocent queries of the young, be reminded that a life without optimism and hope is a life without purpose or fulfillment.
So today, we need to gather our strength and our courage because it is our responsibility to demonstrate the resilience of the human spirit; to show kindness and generosity; to respect the opinions of others, even if we don’t agree with them; to unite communities by cutting through cultural, social, political and religious barriers; to recognize the value of individuals and to demonstrate our commitment for a world that is kind, compassionate and empathetic.
Today, be courageous, be brave and be optimistic. Today you can make a difference and today you can be a source of hope and inspiration in a world that needs to be reminded that the generosity of the human spirit will always shine through.
Today be Thankful for Diversity.