A group of men, each in touch with their own personal power and responsibility to build a nation that, for the first time, heard the voices of its constituents, created the United States of America; they didn't always agree, but they aligned on a system where each individual is valued and equal to one another-- in theory.
Many of the policies they initially aligned on have since changed, due to the protests and sacrifices of passionate individuals. Women can now vote and be educated (though women have yet to be fully empowered in leadership), African-Americans are no longer enslaved (though we still live with racism and fear of our black brothers). Currently, class division, immigrant status, and discrimination make it difficult for everyone in our country to really pursue the "happiness" our founding fathers wrote about. I think this coming election will be a major deciding factor for whether our country retreats in fear or moves forward in compassion and equality.
With the divisiveness I've seen in this election, I foresee that when either Trump or Hillary win, half the country will, once again, use the newly elected president (the one they didn't support) as a scapegoat for why things are wrong in their lives, their finances, their communities.
In the last two years I have interacted with some of the most gifted community leaders in the country while creating "The Radiant Project." I have learned from Randy Patterson, Scott Thomas, Pati Hernandez, Sandy Richards-- all who were nominated-- that the most powerful leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders. That gift comes from their way of being, not from the things they do because in true leadership people don't just do what you say, they follow who you are.
The point of all this is to say that you are not a victim of the president, no matter who it is. Because we are what makes this country what it is, not them. I'll admit, I have doubted my power and shirked responsibility in my life; I've felt that my vote doesn't matter (I've never voted), and my voice won't be heard. At times I have fallen into the trap of hiding under my blanket, feeling like a white girl in a crowd of white girls.
But when I'm at my best I know I have as much capacity as any great leader in history to stand for what I believe, and so do you. It works for me to think about if even one of those founding fathers hadn't been around to give his voice to the dialogue, everything would be different. They made the system, but it's up to us, the people, to be the compassionate leaders we crave of our government.
I ask you to think about that concept both when you vote, and when you choose to respond to the election outcome in November. Will you be a victim or will you be responsible? Your leadership doesn't have to be enacted on a global scale to be powerful. You can empower others everywhere you go, and your impact will be immeasurable. I commit to that, and if you can commit too, that's what will truly make this country great.