James O'Flaherty
3 min readNov 12, 2020


We’re not so different — you, me, and those between the east and west coasts.

Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

Although I try to keep such topics from my children, the 8-year-old did hear about and discuss George Floyd this summer. By now, nothing escapes her thanks to her friend Alexa. At the same time, we discussed how dangerous the job of law enforcement officers can be, and the experiences of our family members and friends who are police officers or other law enforcement professionals.

But my 7-year-old daughter (going on 13), usually more likely to discuss unicorns and moonbeams, really surprised me a few weeks back:

“When I’m a grown-up, I don’t ever want to get married, but I do want to have children.”

“Oh, yeah?” I replied.

“But, I worry,” she whispered.

“Why?” I asked.

“I worry that if I have dark or black children, everyone will hate my family or put my children in cages.”

Let that sink in for a while. I still am.

However, you voted last week, if you are reading this, I know that you are an intelligent human who is well aware that the most influential character of leadership which any of us provides is the example we provide to others.

We’re not so different — you, me, and that other person hundreds of miles away. I work hard to save for retirement, college for the kids, and emergencies. I am well aware that such a trifecta is very difficult for most families these days.

I am also aware that many people, myself included, were born with a privilege or two. Along with hard work, some advantages have helped many people to achieve some level of success.

At the same time, I can also acknowledge that many of us have a unique privilege or two which many people do not. That is not to say that those who got their resume to the top of the pile, or whose appearance and personality are very attractive are not qualified or did not work their asses off to get where they are. It just means that they may have had one fewer hurdle to jump.

A small business owner who wants to pay my fair share of taxes, and no more, I want our roads, sewers, transit, military & cyberworld maintained. I am in favor of long prison sentences for CEO’s, elected, or agency employees who skim money off the top or intentionally, knowingly hire undocumented people.

You don’t have to be affiliated with any particular political philosophy to know that kindness, empathy, and listening to one another is what is needed right now.

We’re not so different you and me. If you think so, put me on the spot with a question, and let’s start a conversation here.

As the incoming President has said, “Let’s give each other a chance.”



James O'Flaherty

Daddy, exhausted empath, infj. John Lennon in a world of Pete Bests.