Peter’s Perspective: Letter to Lady Gaga offering support for her Born This Way Foundation

Dear Lady Gaga,

I am writing to you in your capacity as champion of the Born This Way Foundation to make you aware of The Citizen Leader as a potential tool to use in your foundation’s mission to empower youth and inspire bravery. The Citizen Leader: Be the Person You’d Want to Follow is a guide to help young adults and teens be authentic and courageous and to make an uncompromising and unapologetic commitment to a set of personal core principles that speak to who they are, how they aspire to be, and the kind of world they want to live in. I have written this book to help young adults create great places for us all to live, work and play. I think my book could be a very useful tool in helping to forward your foundation’s mission — to connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a braver, kinder world.

I try to impress on our young people that their future, our future, is largely in their hands. When all is said and done, I believe we are all co-creators of the world we live in. Through our actions, words and choices, we help shape our immediate communities, be that at home, school, work, club, church, etc. The Citizen Leader challenges young adults to be clear about what they stand for and prompts them to participate, serve, act and lead efforts to shape better communities for themselves and their fellow citizens.

It takes a strong and steady sense of self at one’s core and the courage to act and speak from one’s core to battle the mean-spirited and often sanctimonious bullying and homophobia that you speak against so forcefully. Yours is a voice that reaches so many of our young people. You are challenging them and us to be the authors and actors in creating a safer world. I am grateful to you for creating the Born This Way Foundation and for championing its efforts to engage our youth to build a world where humanity is embraced, individuals are empowered and intolerance is eliminated.

In my wilder dreams, I’d like to believe that the introspection like the one I offer in The Citizen Leader — the exploration of self, the discernment and dedication to core principles and the call to better one’s communities and the world — could be embraced as an essential element in the curriculum for our young adults during their formative years in high-school, vocational school and college.

I hope that my book can be a useful tool to help with your foundation’s mission.

Thank you and with my every good wish,