I have been brooding all day because The Obamas left the White House. When people say negative things about President Obama, I silently hope they can cast their minds back on what the economy was like in 2008 right before Obama stepped into office in 2009. And let's not forget everything that President Obama accomplished in eight years plus his overall good intentions.
Not every policy could have been a straight A, but I am not here to talk about policy.
I am here to talk about character.
I will particularly miss the gracefulness of The Obamas. I have never seen people so graceful and so composed all my life, even when they had every reason to be the opposite. The deep sense of family between them, the love and portrayal of oneness is something that I am certain gives many black families hope and pride. Not all homes are broken...
All over the world, there are many great leaders, but how many of them can we remember their wives or what they did during their time in office, save for mandatory events and press meets? It's truly hard to remember a time when both husband and wife were deserving of their roles. Michelle added a new, much needed flavor to the position of First Lady of the United States. She has made it almost impossible for future successors to barely walk in, cross their legs and shake hands with smiles and expensive jewelry while 24/7 staff are waiting to tend to their needs.
Our dearest Michelle Obama was the complete opposite of a poster First Lady. She is a true woman of character who supported her husband and also held her own. I keep telling people how she is the embodiment of what it means for a woman to support herself, her husband and her family. From her, I have seen that a woman can be supportive and submissive without losing her sense of self. You can't say Barack took Michelle for a ride, neither can you say that Michelle took Barack for a ride. They each held their own, in love, in respect and in humility. They understood each other's assignments and gave space for one to accomplish what the other wasn't exactly cut out to do.
They both had power, with Barack having the higher power but he held her in a very high regard, which we can agree she filled and surpassed. It was so beautiful to see how he praised her at every chance he got, even with simple glances or smiles or little gestures like the one below.
He was simply proud of how this woman who had no intentions of filling such a huge role supported him wholeheartedly and although she was constantly under immense public scrutiny, handled it all with grace and class. This, I believe is how men should treat their women - with complete love, support and respect and vice versa. These two have made me understand that it is not an equality thing between men and women. It is about holding down your end and playing your part until the two parts eventually make a whole like in their marriage. They did it!
I am certain that America has not seen this kind of family in presidents past. Notice that I say family because when you talk of presidents, you hardly ever care who or what the constituents of their families are. But with the Obamas, you simply cannot leave Sasha, Malia and Michelle out of the equation. Therefore, of all the leadership, policy making and politics that I may never understand, what I love most about Obama's 8 years in power is that we saw him being one with his family. That has given a lot of families hope. Some egotistic man wasn't simply running a nation (or the world) like we commonly see leaders do.
What America had was a man who was well-grounded in his family and well-rounded in his interactions with others. Let's not forget all those cute photos and videos of Obama playing with kids.
We saw an entire family unit sticking together and lending support while the head ruled. You can pause here to think of a cheer routine where the person on top could not have made it there or remained stable without the ones below lending that support. In this case, Barack was our flyer, Michelle was our base while Sasha and Malia were our spotters. Without this kind of support system, the flyer would topple over.
But Obama didn't, and now we know why.
Thank you Barack, for your leadership, wit, class and grace; thank you Michelle for your grace, service and for making the White House a home for so many; thank you Sasha and Malia for standing by your parents and not pulling out your hair even though you had every right to, seeing as your every move was under top security surveillance - not exactly the kind of childhood most of us had.
Thank you to the Obamas for everything, for leading us gracefully and for your cheerful spirit even in the trying and difficult times we may never know about. You've earned all our respect. Sasha and Malia, I hope you continue in your parents' footsteps albeit carving your path.
I am in awe of this family.
Enjoy your break! We are excited for whatever initiatives you have to continue giving back a.k.a Obama.org.
It is not goodbye; it is thanks for the Job Well done!
*not now, tear drops; not now*