Words – Natalia Lusinski
From the editors of HelloGiggles
We miss Barack Obama’s presence in our lives all the time. So when Obama shared some advice he gave Malia and Sasha, his two daughters, we were all ears. It relates to people of all ages, and we couldn’t love it more.
Of course, we’ve always been big fans of what Obama says and stands for — from his presidency to more light-hearted subjects, such as the way he and his family vacation to his incredible Spotify playlists, featuring some of Obama’s favourite rappers (hint: they include Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar).
So there’s no question in our minds that Obama’s advice to his daughters is on point, and then some. And, yes, we’ll channel his fatherly advice to them into fatherly advice for us, too.
Obama shared his wisdom during a recent Q&A with Bill and Melinda Gates for their charity foundation. Here were his three pieces of leadership advice for Malia, 19, and Sasha, 16, as they were growing up.
The first one is: ‘Being responsible is an enormous privilege.’
‘Part of what [Michelle and I] try to communicate is that being responsible is an enormous privilege,’ Obama said. ‘As you get older, your responsibilities grow.’
He also said they tried to teach their daughters the importance of being kind, considerate, empathetic, and hardworking.
‘These are the tools by which you can shape the world around you in a way that feels good.’ he said.
Secondly: ‘There are a lot of different ways to make a contribution.’
‘If you are a brilliant engineer, you don’t have to make a speech,’ Obama said. ‘You can create an app that allows an amplification or the scaling up of something that is really powerful if you’re someone who likes to care for people. There are a lot of different ways to make a contribution, and I try to emphasise that to them as well.’
And finally: ‘You have to be persistent.’
Obama also said that he and Michelle have told Malia and Sasha that making an impact can take time. The solution?
‘You have to be persistent,’ he said. ‘We get disappointed and we get frustrated. I always tell people that my early work as a community organiser in Chicago taught me an incredible amount, but I didn’t set the world on fire.’
As usual, we’re impressed and are going to start listening to Obama’s advice, STAT.
No, Obama, thank you! And feel free to keep the great fatherly advice coming.