An Open Letter to All of Humanity

It is 9am and I am sitting in my classroom at PS84 in Brooklyn waiting for my first kindergarten karate class to show up. It is my first class of 4. They are good kids and I am a very good karate teacher, yet I am always a bit nervous right before my day starts. I want it to be a good day. I want the kids to learn a lot. I want them to have fun. I only get this particular group of kids for 10 weeks so I feel extra pressure to make every class the best it can be. To be perfect.

Today, the Monday before Election Day, seems extra tense. The florescent lights hurt my eyes and I feel as if at any moment a full blown migraine is going to explode across my field of vision. At one point my daughter pokes her head in on the way to the bathroom and her little face makes me feel slightly teary. 

Am I the only one who feels this way today? Like the top layer of my skin has gone missing? Like all of us are just hanging on by a tiny thread, and at any moment it could just blow away?

Its not my kindergartners, who are still so innocent and full of hope, who come to class every week just wanting to jump up and down and say "kiai!!" really, really loud. Its not my daughter, who is still young enough to be proud and happy that her mom works at her school one day a week. 

In the event of full disclosure, I am voting for Hilary Clinton tomorrow. I don't really like her much, but I think she is by far the better candidate for our country and I think Donald Trump is a racist misogynist who has no idea what he is doing. 

But it is not fear of a Trump presidency that has me so stressed out. It is that never before has the distance between me and my fellow human beings seemed so far, the thread that unites us so fragile. 

What if we forget? What if we are so angry, so scared, so lost in the horrific reality show that has been this election, that we forget who we really are?

We may not vote the same but my kid and your kid both get sick. And you and me, we both lie awake in the wee hours of the morning putting cold towels on tiny, feverish foreheads. We both drink extra coffee when we need it and keep a bottle of wine handy just in case. We both have waited for biopsy results. We both knew someone who was not as lucky as we were. We both have panic attacks. We both cry in the shower where no one else can hear. We both feel joy beside the ocean. We both love the sound of the rain on our car window. We both sing along to Justin Timberlake and dance around our living room in our PJ's. We are both trying every day to be better than we were yesterday. A better mom, a better wife, a better boss, a better employee. Better.

The truth is, I could go on for hours about how alike you and I are, despite all that separates us. No matter the outcome of the election tomorrow, we cannot forget that deep down, beyond the anger and the fear and the masks that we all wear, we are all one. 

So if your candidate wins, cheer and then move forward.  Please don't brag, don't gloat. Just move on.

And if your candidate loses, cry and then move forward. Please do not resort to violence, to intimidation, to bullying. Please do not refuse to accept the election results and make this horrible experience go on longer than necessary. 

We have to move forward, together. We can disagree but we cannot disintegrate.  

Please, above all, do not forget that we belong to each other. 

And our children are watching.


  1. Tears. Yes, we are kindred hearts, and I love you, dear one.

    "Please, above all, do not forget that we belong to each other.

    And our children are watching."

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  2. "and our children are watching" .......... <3


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