Last night (14 April), all of our dreams came true as we headed to London to see ex-First Lady and always inspirational woman, Michelle Obama.
As part of her international book tour, to promote her bestselling book of 2018, Becoming, Michelle made a stopover in London, and boy, are we glad she did.
A crowd of 15,000 settled into the O2 Arena, eagerly awaiting her appearance on stage, with homemade signs and a Mexican wave declaring the enthusiasm of the audience..
We’re finally here! I hope that this book might help each of you embrace the beauty of who you are, and I wish you all the best in your own process of becoming. https://t.co/tOEk59nT71 #IAmBecoming pic.twitter.com/1VD6nCZN41
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) November 13, 2018
The book – a memoir detailing her childhood growing up on the South Side of Chicago, through to her time as First Lady of the United States of America – gives an in-depth look into her life and the experiences that made her the person she is today.
Before stepping on stage, a montage of photographs from throughout her life, with family, friends and fans alike was played, demonstrating the far-reaching impact she’s had around the world during and after her time as First Lady.
Joined by late night TV host, Stephen Colbert, Michelle took to the stage in a flurry of cheers, claps and camera flashes.
Throughout the evening, she spoke candidly about the current political climate, comparing America to a teenager who has to spend weekends with their divorced dad.
Never directly mentioning any person or political ideology in particular, she encouraged the audience to “get to work.”
“We’ve had some tough times on this planet and we’ve come out of it. As Martin Luther King said – my husband uses this quote often: ‘The art of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ And it bends because we help it bend.
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You can’t tell it from this photo, but Barack woke up on our wedding day in October, 1992 with a nasty head cold. Somehow, by the time I met him at the altar, it had miraculously disappeared and we ended up dancing almost all night. Twenty five years later, we’re still having fun, while also doing the hard work to build our partnership and support each other as individuals. I can’t imagine going on this wild ride with anybody else.
“So that’s my advice: it’s time to do some bending. It’s time for us to roll up our sleeves, and if we’re not happy with things, then in democracies we have votes, and that means you have to pay attention and be engaged and can’t take our rights and liberties for granted. Because if we don’t vote, somebody will and that’s the direction of the country that we’re in.
“This still is all within our control, it’s all within our power, within our democracy so my advice is get to work, don’t be complacent and don’t become so cynical that you just turn off. Democracy never stops, and just because you get cynical and emotional about it, it keeps going. So, we cannot afford to sit on the side-lines.”
In an auditorium filled with men and women from around the country and beyond, of different ages, races and backgrounds, the one thing everyone had in common was their desire to learn from one of the most influential and inspirational women in the world.
Part of Michelle’s power is that she’s so completely relatable, and many see themselves in her story. She gives hope to those who wish to follow in her footsteps, and gives encouragement and advice to those who want something completely different.
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This is me at Princeton in the early 1980s. I know that being a first-generation college student can be scary, because it was scary for me. I was black and from a working-class neighborhood in Chicago, while Princeton’s student body was generally white and well-to-do. I’d never stood out in a crowd or a classroom because of the color of my skin before. But I found close friends and a mentor who gave me the confidence to be myself. Going to college is hard work, but every day I meet people whose lives have been profoundly changed by education, just as mine was. My advice to students is to be brave and stay with it. Congratulations to the Class of 2018! #ReachHigher
And last night, we all became inspired to reach for our goals and make a difference to this planet, just like Michelle did.
**Image credit to Amazon**