You showed class and dignity at a time when Washington was at its most divisive and pettiest. You understood the importance of being proactive rather than being reactive.
You never responded to any of the awful things thrown at you because they simply weren’t worth your time. When they went low, you went high.
You believed in “We the People” as one nation instead of a nation of sections, states, or party members, and always reached out to learn others’ frustrations and how to reach a common ground.
When tragedy struck, you were there to console us like a father weeping for the loss of his son, because we were all your children and we knew you looked out for us. Whether it be Newtown, Aurora, Fort Hood, Orlando, or San Bernadino, you embraced each of us with the comfort and reminder of love that each of us needed.
When you knew something was wrong, you fought against it with hope, perseverance, and compassion. Sometimes you succeeded in change, and sometimes you did not, and that’s okay, because we know we have so much more work to do.
No, you were not a perfect president, but there will never be a perfect president. Instead, though, you reminded prior generations, and let an entirely new generation know, that there can be someone in the Oval Office who knows what they’re doing, will treat you as their equal, and never forget to remind you that the limits of human possibility are boundless.
We took your intelligence for granted and we will miss having someone who not only identified with disenfranchised Americans when related to your upbringing, but fought for compassion and empathy in this nation. There is an entire generation of Americans who have never seen America with a president who is white, and the power behind that is immeasurable.
Where many of us today see a red or a blue America, you, sir, see one United States of America, and we’ll get to that point with you one day. And when we do get there, I think we’ll finally understand and realize that we couldn’t have gotten there without you, President Barack Obama.