Your identity isn’t defined by which candidate prevails

By Drake Toll | Broadcast Managing Editor

The result of this election does not dictate who you are. Every presidency has an impact on us in tangible and abstract ways, but the winner of this race cannot control who you decide to be.

Maybe you’ll wake up at peace with the result, or maybe you’ll stay in bed a while, fearful of what the world outside your window would look like. No matter how you start your day, it matters most that you started it.

You still have breath in your lungs; you still have an impact.

Now, I know you’re not interested in hearing a lanky, white male like me try to determine how comfortable you should be with the result of this election. So I have no will to convince you that your life will be the exact same regardless of the result.

Far be it from me to tell you that these next four years, or even the next few days, will look like the ones that came before them. Maybe for me they will, but I can’t sit in my privilege and say the result of this election can’t hurt you — I have no right to decipher what will come.

But I can tell you what I know, and what I know applies to all of us:

We each have something this election cannot take away. We still have the hope that you, me and the nation can unite in understanding that no one can alter or strip who we are at our core. You are the only one who can harbor your innermost beliefs and character, and neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump have access to that.

Whether you agree or disagree with the result, our generation, the most innovative and united in history, now has a choice. We can use our intangibles to come together in the name of humanity, or we can be just as divided as those who came before us. This election signifies the time for us to decide how we’ll impact the nation moving forward — together or apart.

We, as Generation Z, are now responsible. We are responsible for loving, accepting and acting more than any generation in history. While those who came before us were divided by race, religion and politics, we have a unique opportunity, while still young, to allow our passion for equality to unite a nation divided.

No matter how vast our differences, we can do this together.

More than ever before, we understand what it means to eradicate tradition for the well-being of those beside us. We understand what it means to selflessly serve others. We understand what it means to defend those who need it most. We are not perfect, no, but we have a desire to reach perfection — and we cannot stop until we do.

To my generation, keep loving, advocating and acting. Every day, love all people better than you did the day before. Every day, advocate for the voiceless better than you did the day before. Every day, take action for what is just better than you did the day before. No matter who sits in the Oval Office, we can be the change that unites an entire nation for generations to come.

It is imperative that we are different; it is inexcusable if we are not.