The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama

BOOK NOTES from the Fruitville Readers

The Light We Carry, Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama

As in her other best-selling book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes as if we are sitting together just talking. Indeed, her “Kitchen Table” chats with her trusted friends and her mother have offered her a lifeline of comfort and support. She feels fortunate to have been raised by a loving, supportive family,  Her steadfast mother and her beloved father taught her that “No one can make you feel bad if you feel good about yourself.”

As she reflects on her life experiences with humor, nostalgia, sadness, and empathy, she credits these human connections for giving her important coping skills.  She describes the challenges of being a Black girl then woman, and often an “only.  Her observation that “being different makes you cautious and demands you to be bold” is a startling insight.  Her metaphor of knitting—take just one stitch at a time until you see a shape being created in your hands—is a way of finding the balance between comfort and fear. For her, practicing just being and ready enables her to adapt to any challenge. “You fall, you get up, you carry on.” 

Her famous principle of “going high” enables her to open her heart, mind, and soul even in uncomfortable circumstances. In this way she is able to see gladness in others and bring the nourishing gift of others.

An inspiring book by an inspiring woman. — Fruitville Reader Chris Lee