By: Ruby Veridiano
Call me naively optimistic, but my adoration for the Obamas is less about the Obamas themselves as much as it is about my persistent belief in hope, and what can be accomplished when a nation is inspired to behave like a community.
Four years ago, Barack Obama was the first presidential candidate to make me feel like I was actually included in the electoral process. His campaign echoed the spirit of community organizing, and for the very first time, I saw the beauty of my own community amplified on a national platform.
Of course, I am aware that politics is not always a place of honesty. It’s a contact sport where wealth and power collide, a place where the ordinary citizen is often forgotten, and an exclusive sector where the best interests of the few in power are preserved.
But like I said, what Barack and Michelle represent is bigger than politics.
It is about the inspiration that their public influence has taught me about myself and my own ability to exert change. It is about the hundreds of young men and women who, upon witnessing the Obamas escalate into the White House, suddenly saw it possible that they too, can accomplish something unimaginable. It is about the way in which their public personalities have led an example to ignite us, to dare us to cultivate our inner power to become transformative leaders.
Michelle’s speech last night is an epitome of this. Michelle Obama is my role model because in her, I see a woman of minority background who has transcended society’s expectations of what she was supposed to become. She shows me that a woman can be powerful and independent and strong and passionate. She dares me to be unafraid to capture my own abilities because it doesn’t serve any of us to play small. Her role as a wife and mother is at the forefront of her person (an outstanding achievement in itself), and even still, she is able to retain her undeniable capacity as a female leader. And through it all, she is thoroughly loved and appreciated by two beautiful daughters and a man who happens to be President of the United States. She reminds me that it is okay to be unapologetically persistent in pursuing greatness while balancing work, life, and love.
It is partly because of her example that I am able to generate my own courage to strive for success as well as to continue dedicating time to make a difference in the lives of others.
As four years have gone by, and the economy continues to resemble a tattered blanket overshadowing much of our worries, I hope we remember that through it all, this country is not solely dependent on presidential candidates or government leaders, but about our own personal abilities to overcome. Let us remember that change is made possible through our very own ability to transcend adversity and take action.
My adoration for the Obamas is bigger than politics.
It’s about my adoration and persistent belief in our potential.
Follow Ruby at: @rubymsuniverse
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