Michelle Obama’s Becoming found its way to my Kindle soon after it was released in 2018. The memoir chronicles her journey right from her childhood days till her final days in the White House.
Saying that the book makes a very interesting read is but stating the obvious. But, what I appreciated most was the honesty and candidness with which Obama discusses the triumphs and disappointments that shaped her personal and public life. Her humility shines as she prides herself as the girl from the South Side of Chicago, and the respect and credit she gives to her parents for her success is exemplary.
The author and former American First Lady has always been in the forefront, offering advice to girls and young women. Earlier this month on March 2, she released the young readers’ edition of Becoming, and the message that comes along with it is so positively inspiring.
What advice does Michelle Obama have to offer?
“You never stop becoming” is the message Michelle Obama has for her young readers. In a video she posted on Twitter to announce the new edition’s release, she shares her grains of wisdom.
Many questions loom large in the minds of young men and women. Is it beyond redemption if one’s plans are not sorted out early on and he or she makes mistakes? Is everything over when success does not greet someone right at the start? The answers to these concerns find their way in those few minutes during which Obama speaks to her young audience.
In her video, Michelle Obama offers an intelligent piece of advice. “It is OK not to know who you are or exactly what you want to be or do right now,” she says. The fact that her life lessons are so grounded in reality comes to light when she makes a very practical observation. She voices that there is no point in our lives when everything is settled and all uncertainties and anxieties go away for good.
“You are always changing,” says Obama. She explains that it is not just one moment in our lives that establishes our identity. We keep evolving over time and keep growing. There is always abundant scope for improvement as we walk along the path of life.
There is a lesson for all of us in the former First Lady’s message
It’s not just the young, but also the middle-aged people, who are bothered that they have not accomplished what they had wanted to do. Sometimes, in spite of knowing that it is possible for them to do something which they love from their hearts, they step backwards. There is an inner voice telling them that it is perhaps late for them to explore their areas of interest and indulge in hobbies to give expression to their creative faculties.
The truth, however, is what Michelle Obama emphasized, stating that figuring out who we are in life is an ongoing process. Our gray cells continue to be stimulated as long as we are ready to accept and process new information.
The cycle of learning is continuous and infinite. All we need is the drive and willpower to do what we want. If mental and physical abilities are in sync, it is never too late to start. The reality is plain and simple. When it comes to summarizing what we have achieved in our lives, it’s exactly what Charles Dickens so eloquently mused: “We count by changes and events within us. Not by years.”
(This article was featured in Women’s Web )