Have courage: a note to our interns following Trump’s election

Today is a terrible day for America and for the world.

As a dual national, I voted for Clinton, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still an American and have to take on America’s responsibility for what it has done.

There is a long time yet before inauguration so we may not have Trump as president, but this vote will always stand as a terrible indictment of how far American *hasn’t* come, when the country is viewed as a whole.

Remember that the poorest segments of society voted for Clinton. This is a vote for bigotry – bigotry in many forms.

We must find ways to stand against this, big and small. One of the best is education. Today, reading is an act of defiance. Gaining knowledge is a shout against ignorance. Knowledge and empathy sit alongside each other. Read fiction, read non-fiction, but read. Encourage other people to read.

Stand with me to make our little space in the world equal – a space where everyone’s value as people is the same and where we all seek to become wiser, better, kinder. What we can’t do as individuals is change huge numbers of people. We have to change the things we can.

Part of the challenge of effecting change is to understand that your part may be small. It may be instantly forgotten. It may never be praised or even recognised. But you will know you have done it. And if everyone does it – just changes their little space in the world for the better – then the world will be changed.

Don’t be afraid to be small and powerless in the face of nations. Have courage that everything is made of atoms and the smallest parts, together, can move worlds.

I am proud of you all… and all that I know you will do in your lives. Today is a terrible day. But tomorrow is yours and you will make it a better one.

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