The Light We Carry, by Michelle Obama
In a world struggling with recession, war, social and political turmoil, and the lingering after-effects of the pandemic, Michelle Obama’s new book shines a light that soothes.
As the Harvard Crimson puts it, The Light We Carry is “diplomacy for the soul”. It’s also a guide to becoming more comfortable and emotionally balanced.
There are 10 techniques outlined in the book. Each can help you feel more in control of your life.
At the same time, it’s not a cure—all, and nor will it turn you into Michelle Obama.
What it can do is help you find your way on the path to becoming a better version of yourself.
In a market full of self-help books, this one shines with a light of its own.
It tackles the racism that deeply affected Michelle’s grandfather, and that her own father managed with extraordinary strength of character.
It tackles self-doubt, self-loathing, and the destructive effects of negative thinking.
As Michelle puts it, “Any time I hear the patter of negativity and self-criticism starting to get loud in my brain, when my doubts begin to build, I try to pause for a moment and call it as I see it.”
And here’s what she has to say to fear, any time it shows up in her day:
Oh, hello. It’s you again.
Thanks for showing up. For making me so alert.
But I see you.
You’re no monster to me.
In the end, Michelle asks whether we should still “go high”, when others in our lives “go low”.
This echoes the now-famous statement that shaped her reputation — “When they go low, we go high” — and set the pace for many others to handle conflict.
So, should we still go high? What’s Michelle’s answer? You’ll have to read the book to find out!