Real Simplereaders share their what-you-should-do lists for the new president.

By Real Simple
Updated January 20, 2009
Yunhee Kim

New Way of Thinking

My hope for this country is that its people (citizens or not) realize that only by working together to solve problems can we improve our future. Following segregated agendas only segregates the community.
Eileen Rudisill
West Grove, Pennsylvania

Of the long list of hopes that I have for the United States of America, my most important is for people to respect themselves. If we learn to respect ourselves, we will respect our peers, neighbors, environment, and streets. External appreciation begins with an internal appreciation of oneself.
Fariss Adams Ivey
Memphis, Tennessee

That we all strive to raise honest children; support the troops; pinch a few pennies so we can give some of them away; think and act for seventh-generation sustainability; vote and elect a president who will do the right thing and make the hard decisions; teach our children to pursue their dreams, not dollar signs, because true happiness is not dependent on income; and try to follow our own advice.
Ashley Norris
Las Vegas, Nevada

I hope America will become a safer, more respectful and friendly country again. We’ve lost the sense of community in this ultra-independent era. If people were more connected and caring, if families were stronger, if we all valued people, we would see so many current problems disappear.
Charlotte Hultquist
Claremont, New Hampshire

That we will remember, return to, and live by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our freedom is precious; it is what our soldiers fight for and die protecting. It should never easily or willingly be surrendered for an illusion of safety. Our Founding Fathers did not exchange freedom for security. Neither should we.
Mary Elizabeth Williams
Edgewater Park, New Jersey

That more people take accountability for their choices in life and stop relying on others to solve their problems. This country is still the land of opportunity, but you may have to get out of your comfort zone to make a better life for yourself.
Mila Leegstra
Cumming, Georgia

I hope that this country can provide the same sense of security that I was given as a child. I want my children’s biggest worry to be if they will pass a test in school, not if the building will still be standing because of a world war.
Christine D’Abbraccio
Bronx, New York

I’d love to see an end to the inequality between the haves and the have-nots. Too many have so little, while there are others who have enough to share. It’s such a simple thing: sharing what you have with others.
Wendy Freels
Kernersville, North Carolina

I hope the next president will be better at diplomacy and restore the worldwide respect we have lost during the current administration. Choosing war over other options is an ancient and barbaric tactic. It’s time we elected someone with better ideas and the courage to meet with world leaders or enforce economic sanctions or introduce incentives to buy American-made products.
Gianine Colarusso
Emeryville, California

Better health care for middle- and lower-class families. Better public transit to reduce dependency on foreign oil. Better public schools to prepare our future leaders.
Erica Cutler
Portland, Oregon

My hope for our country is that it returns to a place where the American Dream can be obtained. I think our current poor economy and health-care issues are going to take a negative toll on our children. My hope is that the best candidate does win the presidential election. I hope we don’t give up emotionally as a nation and we continue to work toward making things better for everyone.
Bernadette Deluca
Closter, New Jersey

While I realize this is a word that’s being thrown around a lot these days, I hope for change. Here in Michigan the poverty level has risen, while the median income has gone down; every day it seems like more stores go out of business and more homes go up for sale. I want my children to grow up being proud to be from Michigan, and I don’t want them to have to leave to find good jobs and good places to live and raise their families. Overall I want to see the gap between the haves and the have-nots close. I want a good education to be affordable and available to everyone, and I want to see people make more changes toward being green: If we don’t do it for ourselves, let’s do it for our children. I don’t want my children to grow up in a world where the only polar bears and gorillas are in zoos.
Kathy Hoeppner
Lansing, Michigan

That the November elections will herald the start of a new era in the United States.
Amy Funderburk
Dielheim, Germany