I just finished “Becoming”, the autobiography of Michelle Obama, written for younger readers. I was so moved and inspired by the book that I felt the need to share it with you.
It’s amazing how close you feel to a person when you know their story, especially when read in their own words. Put aside these habits and try to adopt healthier options little by little.
A little summary to give you an overview: Michelle was born and raised in the Southside of Chicago (now the most dangerous neighborhood in the city) and comes from a simple family, but very fond of music and confident in the power of education. So, she had access to countless opportunities and seized them, earning a place at Princeton and later at Harvard Law School.
She mentored Barack Obama when she was a lawyer, did you know? He was still a student, and the love story was born in the same way that it persists throughout their lives: in the midst of social impact work and the search for change in their communities.
And I say more: sometimes it. There are fun excerpts, like when Michelle cites negotiations with Barack to watch Sex and the City (they’re human, get this!). And also, many inspiring excerpts, in which the worldview and the way the author faced obstacles are real life lessons for those who read.
Biographies teach and inspire, more than anything and then I get into the reason why I wanted to write this text. Knowing the history and values of people we admire can be a very interesting way to define their values and goals in life. The impact can be immense, even if we are not always able to measure it in a simple way.
If we are the average of the 5 people we live with the most (you’ve certainly heard about it!), I would say that choosing an inspiring person to live with daily through reading is a smart strategy to increase this average. I, at least, finished the book extremely motivated and inspired to create more impactful projects.
Of all her initiatives as First Lady, the one that touched me the most was Let Girls Learn , which promotes girls’ education globally – even in countries with very patriarchal cultures that make it difficult for girls to access education. I thought how relevant an initiative like this would be in Brazil, where in many places – especially far from capitals – marriage is still seen as the only opportunity for girls to have a minimally comfortable life.
Michelle is living proof of how far a girl can go when she has access to education. This was the strongest message I absorbed from the book, but I know that there are many other teachings that touch us more or less according to our personal experiences and interests. I am extremely grateful to Michelle for sharing her story and expanding the influence she has had and has in the lives of so many young people. It has already had an influence on me, and I hope to pass that spirit on. Maybe this article is a good start.
“I grew up with a disabled father in a small house, without many resources, in a neighborhood that was rehearsing decay, and I also grew up surrounded by love and music in a multiple city, in a country where education can take us far. I had nothing, or I had everything – it depends on how you want to tell this story”
– Michelle Obama
And you, have you ever read a biography that impacted and motivated you to make changes in your life?