I wrote this letter to Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton after reading the official Republican and Democratic party platforms and sitting with their similarities and differences as the subject of meditation. I wanted to speak to the candidates from a place of compassion and equanimity, communicate with integrity and skill worthy of my spiritual ancestors, and encourage our country’s next leader as they embrace the difficult job of moving the United States and the world safely into the future.
We have something in common: you and I have experienced lives of privilege and we have—unfortunately—misused our privilege to gain personal advantage. We have made mistakes and our history is flawed. Yet, we stand together now with a great opportunity to serve.
It’s time for me to select one of you to be leader of our country—a divided nation at a crossroads, a great cluster of states containing profound beauty, potential, and pain. I am doing my best to put aside the campaign hype and the anger and fear it stirs. When I look calmly I notice I am drawn to a leader who
- hears the cries of people trapped in injustice
- understands humankind’s interrelationship with earth and our responsibility to act with care
- respects the science behind setting practical limits to growth and development so all may thrive within planetary boundaries
- aims to be a good friend to other nations and those different from us as an essential strategy to global peace and prosperity
For these reasons, you—Mrs. Clinton—have my vote. And because a team of compassionate, understanding, and friendly leaders is necessary for America’s healthy continuation, I will vote for candidates in state and local elections who share these qualities and values.
Mr. Trump, I sincerely hope you find deep and lasting happiness in the days ahead. And may all those who are not elected to office, this time, be well.
Finally, I pledge not go away after the election. I will do my best to be a good citizen by tempering hot words and strong emotions and taking time to staying informed. I will listen and speak respectfully to neighbors and the elected officials I meet in order to help build a shared understanding so together we will know better how to be and what to do. I encourage you, Mrs. Clinton, to join me in earnestly putting the privilege we have into compassionate and skillful service to others.
Let us work now to recover our humanity and safeguard a future for all.
Heather Lyn Mann, Citizen of these United States