Becoming chronicles the life of Michelle Obama, the wife of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States (US). They are the first African American couple elected into the White House in the history of US. At first, I was not expecting much as this book is supposedly for my wife. However, upon reading the beginning of the book, I found it to be interesting and there are lessons to be learnt. So, I continued to read it till the end.
Michelle Obama, the former First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS), is well-known for her advocacy for poverty, education, nutrition, physical activity and healthy eating. Before she became the First Lady, she was a lawyer and later served in public sector. After that, she went to work with a non-profit organization known as Public Allies. Her last job was with University of Chicago Hospitals.
This book has a preface, 24 chapters and ends with an epilogue. The chapters are divided into 3 sections: Becoming Me, Becoming Us and Becoming More. Becoming me contains the first 8 chapters, Becoming Us consists of the next 10 chapters while the last 6 chapters form Becoming More. As this is the author’s autobiography, she shows us her early life in Chicago, her education, her career, her love life, her political journey (or rather her husband’s), her roles and life in White House and her life after the end of Barack Obama’s term as the President.
Michelle Obama is an achievement-oriented and competitive female since a young age. But she had self-doubt along the way. Lucky for her, she met people who supported her and told her that she is worthy. At home, her parents brought her up in a mature way. Her parents seldom interfere in her life and let her make her own choices. She is a very detailed person and before meeting Barack Obama, she had a vision of how life should be and was working hard to realize it. Nonetheless, she found that what she had planned was not what she wanted. Thanks to Barack Obama, she managed to find out who she really wants to be.
When her husband ran for presidency and won, the author had to sacrifice her career. However, she found roles to be played with the status of FLOTUS. Others’ opinions and views matter to her, especially the negative ones, but she did not let the worries and burdens slowed her down.
In the book, we can see that she dislikes Trump who eventually became the succeeding President. Nonetheless, she respects the election result and made the transition as smooth as possible.
Michelle Obama is just an ordinary woman who works hard and knows that she is fortunate to experience the privileged life. She tries her best to help the underprivileged groups worldwide and aspires to serve as an example for what they can be. She is an honest person who is not afraid to admit her mistakes and genuinely wants to contribute to the world.
Some lessons that I gain from this book:
- Face the reality and do not avoid it. We can try to change it to our likings but even if it does not turn out the way we want, at least we have tried.
- Once you find your purpose in life, try to pursue it. Though you might lose something, the joy of pursuing your purpose will most likely compensate for the loss.
- Always be optimistic. Optimism moves the world forward and gives people hope.
- 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.
- Inspiration on its own was shallow; you had to back it up with hard work.
- Hard work didn’t always assure positive outcomes.
- Life was teaching me that progress and change happen slowly.
- Becoming requires equal parts patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing to be done.
Interested in Becoming?
You may get the book from Kinokuniya Malaysia through the link below*.
*Disclosure: The above link is Involve Asia affiliate link. Thus, I may earn a small commission when you purchase the book through this link.