A man bidding adieu to First Lady Michelle Obama on an episode of The Tonight Show said it best. He said he would let his young daughter stay up late to watch Michelle Obama give a speech, not only because she is she a great role model, but because all of her messages exude kindness. That is exactly the word I’ve been searching for as I rack my brain for the reasons I am feeling devastated that the Obamas are leaving the White House. I will miss the kindness.
I have read some hateful remarks over the last 8 years about Barack Obama (not surprising,) but also about his wife, Michelle (which truthfully shocked me.) This presidency was historical and gave us cause to be proud; we elected the first African American President of the United States of America. The fact that we reached that point shows the many obstacles we’ve overcome. We then also found it shed light on just how far we still have to go. I could get into racism and bigotry, but that’s for another blog at some other time. I was shocked during the past 8 years to read anything disparaging about the First Lady, because all I saw was her kindness.
Michelle Obama’s legacy will include platforms like trying to make life better for military families and improving school lunches for children in every corner of the nation. She brought options to the table (literally!) and it gave kids who might not have easy access to farm-fresh foods the opportunity to try healthy options for the first time. Who could criticize her for that? Well, some did. It’s hard for me to understand how people could ignore the kindness.
There were Americans who hated the Obama presidency, every step of the way. I think it’s a shame that their strong political beliefs got in the way of appreciating what we had. Maybe it’s something they’ll look back to and realize a few years from now. I can only hope they didn’t fully miss out on the beauty of a First Family who showed us love. They showed us their deep love for each other, and their love for our country. I will miss that kindness.