The dust is starting to settle from what people seem to agree is one of the most emotional and controversial elections to date. We look at our new president, Donald Trump. People automatically worry that we’ll be at war by the end of the week. Others have started their vitriol, bragging about the win. Others about the loss. From the start of this rollercoaster of absurdity, one thought kept coming to my mind.

Is this really the future face of the United States of America?

As I sat contemplating the question, I realized something vital. While President Trump is now the face, he’s not the USA. He’s the elected commander in chief, but he’s not really what the world sees. He may be an easy target for ridicule, but he’s not the one who’s going to really make the news.

When the world looks at America, all they see is beer guzzling, uneducated, lazy, selfish, entitled whiners. That has nothing to do with our new president. It has everything to do with us.

We are the true face of America.

If we want the world to look at us with hope, admiration, and inspiration, we need to give them a reason to. We need to do it with a new determination to make the world a better place. That doesn’t mean we need to run across the borders. It doesn’t mean we join the peace corp or a mission field. We can start by helping our neighborhood. Being kind to each other. We can support our local homeless shelters. Send cards to people at a nursing home.

When people look at us, they need to see a nation that’s about love, compassion, and a motivation to do what’s good. This has nothing to do with our government. This has everything to do with our hearts.

Today, and every day after, we need to be what the world sees. Forget about whatever President Trump says in his twitter feed, in the news, or in any myriad of places he will inevitably say something foolish. 8 years ago everyone looked to President Obama for change. They wanted him to do it. They waited for it, and it didn’t happen. Why? Because change will only occur if we make it ourselves.

So, America. Are we going to let President Trump be the only advocate to the world? Or are we going to stop wallowing in self-pity and selfishness, and help each other out?