Julio Olalla

It's his eyes. Of course, it's his whole being and his laughter and his dancing and his stories, but it's his eyes.

Of course, it's his tone, and his jokes, and the caring way he takes your arm when he walks with you, but it's his eyes.

They have seen so much--so much change, so much suffering, so much pain. So many stories, so many hurts, so much than could blend into one undifferentiated mass of sad humanity. We could think our weighted down souls aren't even noticeable under all this sediment. 

And yet, it's his eyes. They see you, so naked in your particularity, and cut through so many layers that you feel new. And I can look at people like that now. And I am grateful to the man.

An Invitation to you, Mr. Trump

Well, Donald, you did it. Are you ready?

I heard the question as you walked into the press briefing after your meeting with President Obama: "Are you ready to be president?" Your thumbs came up and you gave a hopeful look, but it wasn't entirely convincing. I couldn't help wondering if this is what you really wanted. You looked a little more weighed down than I have ever seen you before.

So many people have lambasted and mocked you--torn you apart for your look or your style--this post will do none of that. You have a weighty task ahead and I was thinking right now that what you need most is some honesty.

You may have the potential to do good, but it must start with one thing --

An apology.

You must say sorry to all whom you have offended. And you must also tell your base of support that you were wrong. You were right to recognize hurt and pain and a profound sense of loss in America, but you were wrong to channel it toward scapegoats. It needs to be pointed inward. There is work to make America great again and it is the work of being neighborly, supporting diverse communities, opening up to one another to face fears together. It is work of character building and community building. Tell Americans and American companies that they are investing in America, not just their own self interest. 

Do you want to be the world historical figure who grew greatly when he needed to? It won't be through your inflammatory statements. It will be through governing well. You are now at the helm of a deeply divided America. Now is the time for compromise, working with others, bringing the country together. All parts of the country.

Now you must tell the truth. Your strength could come from your vulnerability. You need to say why you really ran for office. You need to admit to the people that your ego is strong and that approval and adulation are important to you. You need to say that you are working to get past those things so that they won't get in the way of governing. You should tell us about your fears. Your opportunity for personal growth while in the public eye offers the chance for so many others to grow.

For that growth to happen, you must contend with those who follow you thinking that your words or your past conduct authorize them to speak ill of others, to exclude or to victimize. You have said some crazy things. And that means that there may be a lot of people who voted for you who think you will do those things. And from your words they might think that it is okay to assault a woman, or tell a Muslim he can't live in their neighborhood, or attack a young black or hispanic man who is doing nothing more than walking down the street. You must ensure that does not happen.

So start the work of bringing people together by being honest with yourself. Apologize so you can remove the weight of resentments and blame that stand in the way of you governing well. Name your fears. You would no longer have to posture. You could believe in what you are doing.  You can make America great again if you lead by example and show others a radical form of responsibility--no scapegoating, no negativity, no ego; instead, hard work, neighborly values, growth of character through positive action. If you lead by personal example, you could lead a very positive transformation.