I only know Michelle Obama through what I see on TV and read on the internet. Only after reading her memoir that I learned more things about her.
After reading Becoming, I’m fully convinced that she really is an inspiring and powerful woman and as a mother. I loved the book. It gave me so many emotions; sometimes I’d catch myself swoon over their love story, cry as she recalls the school shootings, or laugh with some silly things they did. I was deeply moved by her. I love how she promotes hope and inspires so many people. She used her influence in so many positive ways. I admire and respect her a lot.
This is one of the books, I think, everyone should make time to read. I’ve been meaning to read it last year, but never had the chance.
Powerful and Inspirational Quotes from Becoming by Michelle Obama
“Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”
“Even when it’s not pretty or perfect. Even when it’s more real than you want it to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”
“I hadn’t needed to show her anything. I was only showing myself.”
“Women endure entire lifetimes of these indignities—in the form of catcalls, groping, assault, oppression. These things injure us. They sap our strength. Some of the cuts are so small they’re barely visible. Others are huge and gaping, leaving scars that never heal. Either way, they accumulate. We carry them everywhere, to and from school and work, at home while raising our children, at our places of worship, anytime we try to advance.”
“Get over it and just live a little”
“This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path—the my-isn’t-that-impressive path—and keep you there for a long time. Maybe it stops you from swerving, from ever even considering a swerve, because what you risk losing in terms of other people’s high regard can feel too costly.”
“It was one thing to get yourself out of a stuck place, I realized. It was another thing entirely to try and get the place itself unstuck.”
“You give up or you work for change. “What’s better for us?” Barack called to the people gathered in the room. “Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?”
“I objected anytime a student was automatically dismissed for having a B on a transcript or for having gone to a less prestigious undergraduate program. If we were serious about bringing in minority lawyers, I asserted, we’d have to look more holistically at candidates. We’d need to think about how they’d used whatever opportunities life had afforded them rather than measuring them simply by how far they’d made it up an elitist academic ladder. The point wasn’t to lower the firm’s high standards: It was to realize that by sticking with the most rigid and old-school way of evaluating a new lawyer’s potential, we were overlooking all sorts of people who could contribute to the firm’s success.”
“Life is short and not to be wasted.”
“There was power in voting. If you wanted change, you couldn’t stay home on Election Day.”
“…probably the best and most sustaining answer to nearly every question arising inside a marriage, no matter who you are or what the issue is: You find ways to adapt. If you’re in it forever, there’s really no choice.”
“I’d never related to the story of John Quincy Adams the way I did to that of Sojourner Truth, or been moved by Woodrow Wilson the way I was by Harriet Tubman. The struggles of Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King were more familiar to me than those of Eleanor Roosevelt or Mamie Eisenhower. I carried their histories, along with those of my mother and grandmothers. None of these women could ever have imagined a life like the one I now had, but they’d trusted that their perseverance would yield something better, eventually, for someone like me. I wanted to show up in the world in a way that honored who they were.”
“Confidence, I’d learned then, sometimes needs to be called from within. I’ve repeated the same words to myself many times now, through many climbs.
“Am I good enough? Yes I am.”
“If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”
“They were me, as I’d once been. And I was them, as they could be. The energy I felt thrumming in that school had nothing to do with obstacles. It was the power of nine hundred girls striving.”
“You belong. You matter. I think highly of you.”
“I was there to push back against the old and damning narrative about being a black urban kid in America, the one that foretold failure and then hastened its arrival. If I could point out those students’ strengths and give them some glimpse of a way forward, then I would always do it. It was a small difference I could make.”
“…it was important to speak out against bullies while also not stooping to their level.”
“It was dignity I wanted to make an appeal for—the idea that as a nation we might hold on to the core thing that had sustained my family, going back generations. Dignity had always gotten us through. It was a choice, and not always the easy one, but the people I respected most in life made it again and again, every single day”
“So many of us go through life with our stories hidden, feeling ashamed or afraid when our whole truth doesn’t live up to some established ideal.”
“…becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”
Have you read Becoming? What are your thoughts about the book?