Dear President Barack Obama,
Before you set off writing the next chapter of your life, I want to take this occasion to thank you for your service to our country and to the global community.
Thank you for your alerting the world to the threats and dangers of “crude nationalism” presented in the guise of “popularism,” which feeds on people’s fears and prejudices resulting in the separation of people and nations from one another.
Thank you for your audacity to hope for a better, more inclusive country and world, one that comes closer to fulfilling our founding goal of ensuring liberty and justice for all, one that cherishes our diversity while truly exemplifying E Pluribus Unum.
Thank you for your brilliance of intellect that guides your every decision, and filters the noise and distraction in the cacophony of voices around you.
Thank you for your charm that often disarms even your most ardent skeptics once in your presence.
Thank you for your commitment to the most important of your priorities, your family, by never allowing your work to cloud your connections with loved ones.
Thank you for your dedication in protecting the environment by working to save and sustain the earth for current generations and those yet to come.
Thank you for your dignity in how you express and carry yourself, even when others do not reciprocate in kind.
Thank you for your empathy in reaching out to the marginalized, dispossessed, and scapegoated among us, and in attempting to bring them into the center of our society.
Thank you for your fortitude among the onslaught of obstructionism cascading like torrents from across the ever-widening aisle.
Thank you for your gentleness in redefining the truly gentle man in a world and a nation of increasing toxic hyper-masculinity.
Thank you for your grace under tremendous odds by those who have attempted to bring you down from the beginning of your tenure, and in the face of the incessant barrage of criticism and attacks on your very humanity and your qualifications to hold the highest office in the land.
Thank you for your heroism in never giving up even in tough times when the hill you have chosen to climb in the distance is, in fact, a seemingly unassailable mountain the closer you approach it.
Thank you for your humor and your tendency never to take yourself too seriously, and your ability to roast yourself when the occasion calls for it.
That you for your integrity, which you are never willing to sacrifice in exchange for mere material or political rewards.
Thank you for your judgment in keeping forever on course and attentive, preventing you from swerving into potentially dangerous political terrain.
Thank you for your kindness that comes forth in your treatment of the people you meet, especially when you are in the company of the youngest among us.
Thank you for your love of people, love of country, love of service, and your evident love of life itself.
Thank you for your mensch-ness (Yiddish, “a person of integrity and honor”), the qualities that have secured your place in that great pantheon of “the good.”
Thank you for your mindfulness in concentration, focus, study, and understanding of self, and your ability to “be here now” at the moment.
Thank you for your nobility, that virtually indefinable quality emanating from deep within.
Thank you for your oratory precision in presenting a clear and sustained message, and in mobilizing your enthusiastic supporters to rally beside you.
Thank you for your patience in seeing the big picture and in continuing your course in reaching your goals, even when others deposit giant boulders to block your way.