Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Seven words, one concept, discussed in many of my childhood classrooms. Today I am in the position to choose. To choose where I want to live my life. Where I can find my liberty and pursue my happiness. A country where equality is a priority. Where respect is a valued concept.
I choose to live in a place that has free education. I choose to live in a country whose minimum wage provides a respectable standard of living. I choose somewhere in which affordable healthcare is a cornerstone. I choose a woman’s right to choose exactly what healthcare she requires. I choose legal marriage between whichever two people who together think they can beat the odds. I choose over one year of paid parental leave. I choose a border policy aimed in aiding and supporting those people who need it most. This is my pursuit of happiness.
Forever an American, I did make the choice over six years ago to move over seas. Tonight, my fellow Americans have also made their choice. “While progress isn’t guaranteed each of us has the power to choose our path. Not just on nights like this but every day in between,” as my main man Obama said. The ability to choose, to vote, is an amazing power, Obama phrased it well: it is a beautiful and fragile gift.
Though tonight’s election results are not enticing me to a quick homecoming, I do hope that America can move forward with “respect, empathy and kinship” among all Americans. Because who says it better than Barack Obama?