Dear Citizen, It’s been a long time since we talked. I think it’s time for us to reconnect.
It’s been a long time since we talked. I think it’s time for us to reconnect.
I know these last few years have been tough. A lot has changed since the family reunited — and grew. We almost burned the whole house down — twice actually — but then rebuilt it together through sweat and a lot of tears. We tore down a wall, a wall that stood for fear. We made it easy to get around, for work or study — or to go on holiday.
So much has changed since our early days together. We are a real family now. We have achieved great things. The work we do, our quality of life, the way we look out for each other — all this should make us really proud. We are healthier now than ever. Our cultural richness is the envy of the world. (Have you seen the visitors’ lines?)
But we can’t focus on the past, or get stuck in the present.
This is the whole reason I’m writing you this letter. If we are to find a way out of this uncertain phase, we’ve got to find a way to shape the future together.
Sometimes it may have seemed like I was the one doing all the talking. I was certainly trying my best to provide for you, for us. To make our home a safe and comfortable place. But in the process, I may have gotten too wrapped up in my own bubble, in my own projects — expanding the house, worrying about the bills, all the new arrivals.
You remember how you explained to me once how this relationship was supposed to go? Well, here’s putting my cards on the table. Here’s how I want to win you over.
First, let’s clarify again the house rules, rules we agreed are non-negotiable, both for us and for any newcomers. Under this roof, every person’s dignity is to be respected — full stop. We agree to give each other the freedom to hold and to speak out different beliefs, provided this doesn’t hurt the community. Keeping these rules hasn’t always been easy, but we both know how important these values have been. Also, the issue of trust. Very important. All of us are in this together. All of this makes up the agreement. (Another thing people around the world envy, in fact.) Those who don’t respect it are no longer welcome in the house.
I understand you may feel you haven’t always been at the centre of my attention. But let me assure you, you have been! I’ve been working hard to keep the stores open — and the shelves stocked. To keep the neighbourhood safe. Even to keep the family together.
Now we come to something I know you, that all of us, are especially worried about — safety. Especially after the terrible things we’ve seen now in so many places. We’re working on strengthening the border, and on a hi-tech counterterrorism system that helps us get all the info we need. We’re even working on putting our armed forces together.
But security is also about having the chance to get ahead. We’ve been putting in place several good ideas for how to create jobs, especially for young people, and for how to get everyone the training they need. This applies to the workshop and the lab, the salesroom and the construction site. We’re working to make sure no one falls through the cracks.
The world is moving so fast now. So many places that used to buy what we make are making things of their own. We’ve got to find new ways to stay sharp — to make sure we all can benefit. Together, we can be so strong. So creative. The world is not something we should be afraid of. Together we need to shape a new global strategy so we can continue leading the way.
Being creative, working together — even with robots, maybe — these are the skills people will need. (Values, too, have to be learned — think “house rules”!). We need to figure out how to ask good questions, how to think outside the box. (Not just lessons for our kids, by the way!).
I’ve tried my best in this letter to share with you my take on how things stand. Here’re just a couple of things I want to recommit to: picking up the phone when you call; and not promising more than I can deliver (keep in mind: if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is).
I hope this helps to build more trust between us.
I want to hear from you.