Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dear Mr. Obama

Dear President Obama,

I just read another (e-mail forwarded, of course,) letter supposedly from another teacher, and let me just say, I have had it, too. But in contrast to how that other letter started, I have had it with all the nasty and divisive criticism of your administration. I am saddened by the treatment you have received by people who would never allow their kids to speak of a classmate or neighbor the way they criticize you, by people who claim to know Christ and claim to value love and kindness. I have had enough. I apologize to you for our selfish, small-minded interpretation of things you have done and said.

I commend you, Michelle, and your team for all that you do on behalf of the United States of America. I am deeply touched by your leadership and integrity, impressed with your intelligence, value your ability to articulate truth, appreciate your sense of humor (Stephen Colbert’s haircut, for example), applaud your decency, respect your commitment to Michelle and your daughters and how you champion fatherhood, envy your coolness under pressure, admire your ability to think on your feet, applaud your down-to-earth approachability as evidenced in interviews and other efforts, cheer for your commitment to the greater good, and thank you for many things, including keen insight into complicated issues, boldness in values, heart for service, humility in understanding the complexity of our times, kindness to your new dog, patience with pundits, and sacrifices both personal and professional demanded through this job you have been graciously willing to take on for the people.

I know you are intelligent, grounded, and wise enough to surround yourself with others who will look at details, statistics, and strategies beyond what I will ever be able to know or calculate. My pledge to you: I will grant you time and space to lead without being second-guessed on everything by me. I will acknowledge failure is an expected part of success, and grant you the grace needed to move ahead. I will concentrate on the areas where I have influence and control, and use my energies to make a positive difference in my arena, and support you in yours without assuming I have enough information to judge.

Your speech in Cairo was profound. Your visits to other countries inspired. Your delicate walk with the situation in Iran educated me. Your comments on abortion at Notre Dame’s graduation elevated that conversation. Bravo!

In the first few months of your presidency, I have learned powerful lessons and been reminded of how I want to live in response to the crazy stuff going on through various talk TV and radio personalities, forwarded e-mails, and conversations with people:
• I choose to not be critical from this far away from what goes on in federal government, since I do not have all the information, and often the information I do have is not accurate.
• I want my words and actions to be true to The Golden Rule.
• I want to remember to be kind to all presidents in how I speak of them, even if I do not agree.
• I want to be part of solutions and service, not of division and damaging words and efforts.

My demographics: I am about to turn 54, live outside a major city in a state that is broke, registered as an Independent voter, a follower of Christ that attends a large evangelical church, public school educator, have a Master of Science degree in Education Administration, worked briefly in public relations, was an intern for the State of Indiana Assembly, and lived outside of Chicago for about 14 years – and Chicago remains my favorite city to this day! I am happily married to Glen (a Democrat), have no children, and have really had to learn to live more simply with reduced income in recent years due to my husband’s worthy vocational choice (consultant to build capacity for community organizations).

I’d like to say more in support of you, your words, and your administration, about issues I’ve heard some friends and family members cruelly speak against, but who has time. There is a lot to do together.

You are a good man and a capable leader and president. Keep it up. Stay safe. Love your family. Play basketball. Live the faith. Thanks for everything. It is a new day in the USA, and I’ll walk with you to move on. God bless you and everyone, and God bless the United States of America and all nations. We hope to meet you someday.

Another Real American
Cindi Peterson

1 comment:

L.Wright said...

Oh my goodness, I'm delighted to find another teacher, Christian, and positive supporter of our new President. I loved your letter and I hope you actually sent it to him. I too am so tired of talk radio and talk news programs. I've watched less tv and read more this summer because the hate espoused by Christians troubles me the most. Cindi, I'm going to check in on your blog now that I've found it. Thanks for your thoughtful musings.
Leslie Wright