If I were POTUS what would I do to promote peace and unity?

I feel that it is important to set a good example. The President of the United States is watched by the entire world and should govern in a way that shows respect. In politics, it seems that we often focus on differences in people. We are divided into groups such as party lines, sexual orientation, race, or religion, etc. I think it is time we focus on our similarities. We all want to feel secure and to be accepted and to have basic needs met. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to gain education and employment to help satisfy these needs. Peace and unity starts in the home and must be extended to all people. This requires that public resources help those children and families who do not have basic financial or emotional needs met so they can find peace and feel unity.

I feel that the most important time to teach acceptance and unity is in childhood, and this places a responsibility on parents and families. One of the most important things that our government, including our President, can do to promote peace and unity is to support families and children, including how children are supported and taught.  The strength of a society is reflected in the way we treat, and teach, children–providing the best opportunity to install a culture of peace and equality. Because they come into the world and rely on the customs they are taught at an early age, I would encourage educators to not only teach about the history of inequality and war in our world, but encourage them to teach about why it is not something that needs to be repeated. As president, I would not avoid conversations about the “hard” things such as race, gender, religion etc. Instead, I would require education and encourage respect so that we can all better understand each other.

Through various things I have seen daily while working with children at The Boys & Girls Club of the Siskiyous, I have noticed that children have an innate desire to have friends, that they genuinely don’t feel hate until it is taught to them. Their instinct is to love and trust others.  This can be derailed, however, when exposed to the pain of abuse or neglect impacting their self-worth, or exposed to the prejudices of people they trust, impacting how they value others.

In my occupation, I have the opportunity to directly see the impact that a good and caring role model can have on the lives of children and their parents. For example, I have mentored children with palpable, varying differences including kids with rainbow colored hair, to kids attempting to figure out their sexual identity, to kids who came to the club without eating all day. Regardless of previous experiences, situations and identity, as a youth development professional it is my goal to be the kind of person who children will come to with no fear of judgement or embarrassment and let them know that I will do everything I can to assist them. Therefore, with the tremendous platform that the President has, I would have the same goal–that all people would feel that they are adequately respected and heard and valued.