In a world of overly sensitive, entitled, and selfish millennials, I reminded her how pointless it is to be one.
One of my favorite things about my teenage sister is her initiative. When she wants to do something, she gives it her all. She had a black belt by the time she was in middle school and was extremely dedicated and disciplined during her run on the women’s junior varsity basketball team. When she recently came to visit me over the Summer, she applied this initiative and diligently helped assist me with door-to-door canvassing for a State Representative campaign I was helping with at the time. She instantly started organizing and managing the other volunteers in our team with ease, allowing me to personally focus on reaching voters more efficiently. She was eager to learn and caught onto the process ridiculously fast. While I didn’t talk to her very much about actual politics during her week-long visit, we did talk about life and social issues in general.
I can safely assert that my younger sister has a relatively good outlook on life for her age. While she doesn’t relate to either the Democrat or Republican parties yet personally, she tends to believe in free-market principles and the benefits of maintaining a strong work ethic. That’s likely the result of our hard working parents, who’ve always taught us that the American Dream is one to be personally earned. She’s also an advocate for female empowerment. The kind that doesn’t entertain self-victimization. When Donald Trump was recently elected the 45th President of the United States, I knew I needed to talk to her. But it wasn’t for the reason many other writers have felt the need to publicly share their outreach to the women in their lives in lieu of President-elect Trump. I reached out to my 17 year old sister after Trump’s election to remind her to continue to be the strong and thoughtful woman I’ve always known her to be.
Donald Trump has made repulsive comments about women in the past, but my sister is a 17 year old female attending American high school in 2016. She has personally admitted to me that boys her age tend to act and speak abhorrently towards their female counterparts — and this was before Trump’s presidential run. Regardless, she’s always condemned this behavior and not accepted it, especially when personally directed at her. With the hyper-sexual pop, hip-hop music and corresponding imagery marketed towards American teenagers nowadays, it’s not surprising people her age are addressing each other in such a repugnant demeanor. This is music from the same artists our sitting President and First Lady have invited to the White House for political discussions.
The truth is, Donald Trump’s past behavior is nothing new. It’s always been a societal norm. Is it something we should tolerate or accept? No. But is it something President-elect Trump is currently doing or has even been doing recently? No. Have we all at some point said something we didn’t mean to say? Anyone denying having ever made a verbal flub is flat-out lying. Can we forgive the imperfect actions people have made in the past and carry forward? Yes, we should, and our society usually tends to. Thankfully, my younger sister understands the concept of tolerance, perseverance, forgiveness, and self-respect. In a country where high schoolers are currently protesting against the election of Donald Trump, I reminded her to remain personally objective, not to follow her peers just to fit in, and to approach all behavior she’s exposed to with common sense — like she always has. My 17 year old sister has never been a fan of victim culture or the vapid behavior people her age can sometimes exhibit. As her big brother, and the only publicly outward Trump supporter in our family, I reminded her to continue to choose sanity over hysteria in these uncertain times. Her response? “I know better.”