Dear Congressmen and Congresswomen of the United States of America,
There are a lot of other ways that I could have begun this letter, and I’m sure you’re well aware of them, but I was brought up to always write a thank you note when I had been given a gift. I was told to be specific and to acknowledge how exactly I would use this gift. Most importantly, I was taught to be genuine and generous in my language.
Thank you for giving me and every citizen of the United States the gift of your time and talents. I know that your position is hard-won, and that it brings along with it exciting prestige and power. I also know that it comes with daily encounters with people who say you aren’t good enough. Or that you aren’t smart enough, strong enough, or principled enough. Sometimes it’s your constituents saying this; sometimes you say it to each other. You probably didn’t foresee all the monotonous nights, suffering of your neglected family members, or truly tough moral choices.
Thank you for allowing us to trust you. Not a single human on earth knows enough to do your job to a wholly satisfactory level. In fact, I’ve often seen the wisest of you display the most intellectual humility. I know that you have to assemble a forceful team, juggle conflicting interests, and struggle with your interdependence day in and day out. Your role is glamorous at times, but all of us adults know that not all that glitters is gold.
Thank you for being role models. There are a good number of you who use your public platform to speak truth. Or encourage our nation. Or courageously speak up against encroachments on our freedom and justice. Your example does not go unnoticed.
Once again, thanks. We don’t ever say that enough to anyone– our leaders, our teachers, our next-door neighbors. I may not agree with what many of you believe in and have done, but I’m glad that our identity as citizens of the beautiful United States of America brings us together in our pursuit of happiness.