In April 2009, Michelle Obama made only one speech during her trip to London and that was at a girls-only, inner-city school, its pupils, of whom 20% are the children of refugees or asylum seekers, speak a total of 55 different languages and 92% of whom are from a black or minority background. And then, carefully, using personal stories and anecdotes, she drew parallels between her life and those of the girls in front of her, at times appearing close to tears. During her speech she said to the girls,
‘I want you to know that we have very much in common, for nothing in my life’s path would have predicted that I would be standing here as the first African American First Lady of the United States of America. There was nothing in my story that would land me here. I wasn’t raised with wealth or resources, or any social standing to speak of…’
She went on to say,
‘If you want to know the reason why I’m standing here, it’s because of education. I never cut class. I loved getting A’s. I liked being smart. I liked being on time. I liked getting my work done. I thought being smart was cooler than anything in the world.’
She then went on to speak to the girls about the importance of them achieving their full potential so that they could take the reigns as women leaders for a new world and re-iterated that a Nations health is dependent on women’s participation.
You can see the whole of The First Lady’s speech here:
I have said it before and I’ll repeat it here. As women leaders, whether we are 16 or 45, it is time for us to take ourselves more seriously than we ever have. The world is seeking a more values driven leadership and women are perfectly placed to fill the void.
The void will be filled. Nature abhors a vacuum. Will it be filled with something new or will we, because of our apathy, get more of the same?
What are you personally doing to take your life and opportunities to the next level? Do you need more education? Do you need to volunteer for a high visibility project? Do you actually need to say something that goes against the expected norm?
Inspire us below with your stories and don’t forget to live with passion!