Dear Mr. President,
Tonight a close friend, while we shared horror stories from our respective jobs, mused that, no matter how bad things got, he often cheered himself up by thinking, at least he doesn't have to deal with the President's job, or all of your problems. As some one who is frequently told by the very customers making it necessary for me to be at work at 4am how much they pity me for having to be up so early, I know this doesn't help to relieve the tremendous burden of your job. But I do hope you know we appreciate the magnitude of your struggle. On days like today, when I am so despairing of the ignorance and shallowness and petty crimes of so many, I like to remind myself of the people in this world who give me hope.
Emily Henochowicz lost an eye to the IDF this week, for daring to speak out against their attack on the humanitarian ship. She's 21. My best friend leaves in 3 weeks, giving up two years of comfort and delaying academic and professional success to work with community health clinics in rural West Africa. She's 24. My youngest sister supports her family working retail and living paycheck to paycheck, trying to ensure that her son has all he needs to grow up healthy and supported. She's 22. I am surrounded, daily, by examples from my life and from the lives of those I may never meet, of the hope you asked of us in your campaign. What could be more hopeful than giving up your time, energy, even your physical safety for the sake of the next generation and the world we will leave them? You asked us to hope, Mr. President, and I think that, despite all that would inspire only cynicism and despair, we are hopeful, yet.
In exchange for this, we asked you to change things. We asked that our hope be not in vain, that our country be remade in an image more of us could find reflective of our own features, our true nature. Your efforts have been honest, if the results have not always been as profound or as swift as many had expected. Right now it seems like, more than just oil, it is all of our political ambitions, our dearest hopes and grandest plans gushing out to be lost at sea. How will we fix this? Even after it is fixed, will the fallout consume your presidency? I am sure that no one feels this fear more acutely than you, sir.
I suppose the point of this letter is to remind you that, more than our relief at being able to entrust you with the most difficult job in the country, we share your struggles, too. That my generation will have ownership of whatever world you leave us is not lost on me. I am afraid, I am worried, I am angry; but I have not lost hope.