What is the powerful message left by Michelle Obama’s book?


Ayda María Martínez Ipuz

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Talking about hope in a world as tumultuous as the current one seems like a grand task, except for Michelle Obama.


In her latest book, "The Light We Carry," the former First Lady of the United States insists on seeing the world, personal development, family, and society in a more empathetic way and with individual commitment so that the world continues to progress and avoids falling into the abyss due to an excess of anger, disappointment, pain, and panic.


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The book, which Michelle Obama wrote during the pandemic, seeks to fill citizens of the current world with hope and integrity based on her own experience. "What I want to say, then, is that you should keep your strength and faith, remain humble and empathetic. Speak the truth, treat others as best as possible, maintain perspective, and understand history and context. Remain sensible and tenacious and continue to be outraged. But above all, don't forget to do the work," she insists in her message to readers.


Overcoming uncertainty is not easy, which is why she starts with the principle of staying true to oneself within the parameters of collective ethics and responsibility.


Michelle Obama lived this way since childhood when she saw the slow deterioration of her father's health with multiple sclerosis, even though he always seemed fine to his family. In this way, she understood that her strength was developed in that environment, as her lessons showed her what it's like to be different and "to go through a life marked by something you can't control," and for which tools are available to continue moving forward on the path.


"- For reasons of survival, really – you understand, as my family did, to be alert. You learn to conserve energy and count every step. And the essence of all this is a dizzying paradox: being different conditions you to be cautious, even when it demands that you be brave," she expresses.


Therefore, she takes on the challenge of sharing her toolbox for overcoming challenges in life, which she has learned from amazing women to face injustice and uncertainty. However, she clarifies that "tools evolve according to our circumstances and growth. What works in one stage of life may not work in another. But I believe it is valuable to learn to identify the habits that allow us to stay centered and grounded in contrast to those that cause us anxiety or feed our insecurities."


One of humanity's greatest challenges, the pandemic, became the starting point for applying these insights to overcome the fear and uncertainty caused by the impact of COVID-19, by creating one's tools for resilience, such as decoding pain and not having reservations for new beginnings.


"It may take us a while to find our pace again. Our losses will have repercussions in the years to come. We will receive one shock after another. The world will continue to be both beautiful and fragile. The uncertainties will not disappear," Michelle Obama said.


In this way, she invited citizens of the world to fight every day to be better people, through self-knowledge that generates tranquility, security, and knowing one's light, that which we all must connect with the rest of humanity.

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