An Open Letter to All Americans Following the Presidential Election
To Americans in red baseball hats and Americans in colorful pants suits alike...
When God offered King Solomon anything he wished in I Kings 3:9, King Solomon asked for one thing only: "Give me a listening heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?"
He didn't ask for might. He didn't ask for wealth. He didn't even ask for wisdom. He asked for a listening heart.
May the new leader of the free world be blessed with a listening heart. A heart that listens to the pain of a divided people. A heart that listens for commonalities. A heart that listens to those whose voices are tiny and soft. A heart that listens for the weeping at the margins. A heart that listens to the dreams of the poor, the hopes of the young, and the faint prayer of the dying. A heart that listens to the call of the earth and the haunting song of the sea. A heart that listens past language, dialects and differences to the very pulse of humanity. A heart that listens to the resounding message of history. A heart that listens to the spirits of our ancestors and the hum of the future. A heart that listens to you and listens to me and hears the mysterious harmonies that are so often hidden from us.
May we all be blessed with listening hearts, and step into tomorrow together with a commitment to hear one another. To receive each other's presence with hearts that are open and compassionate. With hearts that listen to one another's fears. With hearts that listen to one another's devotion. With hearts that listen to one another's achievements. With hearts that listen to one another's disappointments. With hearts that listen to one another's beauty. With hearts that listen to one another's goodness. With hearts that listen to one another's pride. Let us step into tomorrow with our hearts channeling Solomon's gift. With our hearts attuned to one another's precious and unique music, and learn to sing in harmony.
This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the New York Island. From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters, this land was made for you and me.
God, let us wake with listening hearts, and let the circle of compassion widen enough to include the vast and diverse American family, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Bless us, that we may bless each other.