Dear Former Mr. President,
Ever since the day of your farewell speech, I’ve been meaning to put something together to honor you in my own way. I’m not sure how much traction this post will get or even have the slightest possibility of my words reaching your vicinity. If, by some miracle, you happen to come across this post, I want to start by saying, “thank you!” I am proud of you and your wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama for all you’ve done for America and as well as the rest of the world. Being a father myself, the main thing that I admire about you is that before anything else, you are a devoted and involved father, a loving husband and you always gave a sense that you was never above anyone else. You proved by leaps and bounds that you are truly a man of the people.
During and after Donald Trump’s inauguration, it was pretty much a sad occasion for me because I reluctantly anticipated what’s to come in the weeks that lies ahead. So far I’ve been dead-on since Trump arrived in the White House; it’s been turbulent, controversial and unnerving. In just only a little over a week in office, Trump’s decision-making already seems impulsive and emotionally-charged. Sadly, the man seems hellbent on dividing our nation. When you were President, you brought us together—and despite the fact that some of your decisions weren’t always popular with everyone, you still maintained that cool, calm and collected temperament to run our country with careful deliberation, discipline and the willingness to make those difficult choices that were both favorable and unfavorable with millions of Americans. Most people will never fathom the amount of pressure that comes along with being the leader of the free world, while handling it with courage and grace.
Besides not being in the White House, I will greatly miss you and Mrs. Obama’s tireless efforts of being a beacon of service, strength, hope, love and graciousness. That doesn’t mean it will all come to and end; it just means that you will now apply those extraordinary human traits to the next phase of your lives, in which I will keep a watchful eye out. For better or worse, 2017 will be an interesting year. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “stay woke” across various social media outlets (via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook); in a nation that is evidently divided, now’s the time to prove how “woke” we really are.
I have to admit that early on in my life, I was never big on politics and I’ve had somewhat of a negative perspective on that particular field. As I grew older and wiser, my comprehension of the subject matter began to expand. I’m not planning to run for any government, state or city office; however, I want to put forth a greater effort to channel my voice, my resources, my creative talents—such as drawing and writing, my social media outlets and as well as my blog to help in the fight for justice and equality. I’m glad that you and your wife will continue to serve the general public through the Obama Foundation, in which I’m looking forward to witnessing. From the way you influenced and inspired a great number of people all around the world, I hope that I can find a way to do the same, even if it’s on a smaller scale. Besides, no one is going to build your own future, you have to design and construct it yourself… and that my friend, is what you have done and that is what I call a legacy.
Ralph A. Gilmore