Friday, January 29, 2010
I used to love politics. In fact, there was a time in my life when I was so enamored with our government and its seemingly infallible processes that I longed to be a politician myself. Yup, I was an idealist. A little naive. These days, I hardly dare to breathe the name of our president or engage in a conversation about any of the hot-button issues that seem to plague our country. It's just too bi-partisan. Too black or white, left or right. I worry that if a friend (or fellow blogger or complete stranger) hears my political leanings and disagrees with me, we'll no longer be friends. Sad, isn't it?
So, before you delete me from your blogroll or run screaming from my site, let me assure you that this is not a political post! My reactions to Wednesday night's State of the Union address are for me to discuss with my husband. My reactions to Michelle Obama are what I'd like to discuss with you.
I love her. I really do. Not necessarily her politics or her past choices or her stance on controversial issues. I just think she's an amazing lady, whether or not I agree with her 100%. Not only is she beautiful, classy, and articulate, I think she's authentic. I love watching her with her girls, and I chuckle every time I see her admonish the president of the United States with a wink and a smile. Isn't that exactly what marriage is like? I think she has a great sense of humor, and I appreciate that she's quick to laugh at herself and her husband. She doesn't try to act superior or holier-than-thou because she's the most watched and influential woman in the most powerful country in the world. Instead, she's down-to-earth, real, and approachable. During her husband's political campaign, many tried to label her an "angry, black woman." To me, she's just well-spoken, intelligent, and passionate. She's exactly the sort of woman I would like to be: an appealing mix of gentle mother, supportive wife, and strong, successful woman in her own right. Did I mention I think she's the best-dressed first lady since Jacqueline Kennedy?
Anyway, as I watched Michelle Obama during the State of the Union address, it struck me that we collect people as if they are tokens and try to take little pieces of them that we wear like accessories. I try to wrap my grandmother's kindness around me. I wear my mother's compassion like a ring--a constant reminder whenever I reach out a hand to help (or hurt). My dad's resolve is a warm coat. And the sphere of influence widens... All the way to the president's wife who makes me stand a little straighter every time I see her.
In many ways, I am who I am because of the people that I admire. I want to look like them, and I take the things about them that I love and make them my own. So, what about you? Who do you admire? Who makes you smile wider, stand taller, or reach for impossible dreams? I'd love to hear from you...