By Karin Brennan
First, congratulations on your achievement. All your hard work has paid off. Take a breath and enjoy the moment. Now, for those of you who beat the odds, “flipped” your seats, and maybe even “shocked the world”, I have a special message.
You’ve inspired thousands of people to help you kick down the door. You’re in. Your companions will be the hopes and dreams of the many people who believed in you, worked on your behalf, and voted for you. In the months and years ahead, I hope you will remember all the people who gave you this opportunity. I’ll presume to speak for many of them now when I say, we want you to lead. And, we want you to do the right thing, even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard. Ask us for help when you need it and we will be there. Never lie to us, however, because this election shows what can happen if you do.
The real challenge still lies ahead … working with those who have seemingly forgotten how privileged they are to represent other Americans. We want you to be better than that … to lift the others to the level we need instead of falling to their level. That won’t be easy, but it’s why we chose you.
Finally, don’t break our hearts. Many of us have only a few elections left in our lifetimes. What you decide to do about healthcare, gun safety, climate change and other significant issues will affect the remaining quality of our lives. Children who have experienced the fear of gun violence will be voters before you know it.
So, there it is. Enjoy this day as we will. We’ve all earned it. Then, please get to work.
The author is a U.S. Army Cold War veteran who served three years as a German linguist (Army Security Agency) behind the Wall in West Berlin. She has an MBA in Marketing and is retired after a 27-year career at IBM as a Senior Marketing Manager. She’s married and lives in Carlsbad, CA.