Last summer my dad was shot and killed. Let’s just say it was shocking and brought me to my knees literally and figuratively. What made it even worse in my mind was how close he was to retiring and all the wonderful things he’d had planned for his someday when he was free from his job. I looked at my own life and realized I’d been following a similar pattern. I was dreaming of world travel and meeting amazing people and spreading love around the globe, but I was working my 9-5 and living in my cushy little apartment in downtown. My outsides were not truly matching my insides.
Yesterday I woke up to news that shocked and appalled me. A man who brags about how he disrespects women, is blatant and direct about his feelings of disgust for people who aren’t like him: people with no money, people with different skin color, even people with handicaps, was elected to be our next president. I really didn’t believe in my heart that our nation could so strongly connect and align and agree with this man. But they did.
My initial reaction was disbelief and shock. And shortly thereafter, much like with my father’s death, I asked myself what I am now aware of that I was not aware of before. And my truth came bubbling to the surface. Much like how I’d lived before my father’s death, if someone who was more aligned with my lifestyle and beliefs was elected the president, I would have found it easy to take a collective sigh of relief and go back to life as usual, trusting that someone else was going to handle being the change in the world that I wanted to see. I could’ve put off sharing my message and my work and my heart with more people, and just gone along with the status quo of what is now. I would’ve taken it easy.
Because of what happened, I am more aware than ever that it is not someone else’s job to be the change in the world that I wish to see. It is MY responsibility and mine alone to be that change. It is each of our jobs to share LOVE like nobody’s business. It is each our own responsibility to support and connect and grow and encourage. Love conquers hate EVERY TIME. Not sometimes. EVERY TIME.
It is my responsibility to LOVE. NOW.
I’ve decided to take a moment to share some love with Hillary Clinton, for the work she’s committed her entire adult life to, helping women and children and those with disabilities to ensure they are cared for and supported. Thanks to the following tweet, I’ve got a PO Box mailing address, so I’ve written a letter which I’m mailing out today:
You can send Hillary a thank you card. I am.
Post Office Box 5256
New York, NY 10185-5256
— Pie-di Pie-lig (@heidiheilig) November 9, 2016
Here’s what I’ve written to her:
I want to personally thank you for EVERYTHING you have done. For not ONLY your AMAZING work being the bigger person when having to face the cruel and demeaning speech and behavior of your opponent in the campaign, but also for your ENTIRE LIFE. You’ve spent your entire adult life defending those in our country who needed it most, those who couldn’t defend themselves.
I want you to know that your life continues to be an inspiration to me. I hope I can be as inspiring to others with my life of love and service as you are to me.
I also want to apologize to you. I realized, in the wake of the election results, that I’d put so much faith in you being the next president, that I’d felt I could “sit back” and allow you to make our country and our world a better place. Now I realize more than ever that I need to stand up and be the change I wish to see in the world.
Know that because you took on this election with such love, commitment and dignity, you’ve set in motion an avalanche of citizens, both of our country and our world, who are choosing to follow your example to stand up and step out, to be the change they wish to see in the world: of LOVE, of COMPASSION, of ACCEPTANCE.
Also published on Medium.