Michelle Obama: a role model for what matters

With good reason, lately all eyes have been on our President and his much-anticipated stimulus package.  The lion’s share of January was spent on news regarding the creation of a somewhat surprisingly bi-partisan cabinet, including a little controversy on Hilary Clinton and her competition for the Secretary of State position with our new vice-president, Joe Biden. Most of what has been written about the President’s wife had to do with her wardrobe, what she wore to the inaugural, how she needs a stylist, etc.

What has gotten a lot less press is the issue of the First Lady’s own mission – to inspire children to become successful by giving back to their communities. When I read in Slate Magazine how this message to kids to become civically involved because her own road to success and had come from her community involvement in an otherwise, unremarkable middle class childhood I jumped for joy. In the last stage of my LifeQuake model for helping people master change, I talk about how once you are not afraid of change in your own life, the natural extension is to become an agent of change in the world.  When I was writing the last chapter of my book and doing research on altruism (giving selflessly to help others), I was surprised and delighted to discover how much solid research exists. There are so many benefits psychologically, physically, and even financially to being a humanitarian. Our First Lady is definitely a reflection of how “I do good” becomes “I feel good when I do good.”  The President may have a daytime Dream Team in the White House, but I would guess that the woman he sleeps with is making his night time dreams a better reality for us all.

Dr. Toni Galardi’s new book is called The LifeQuake Phenomenon: How to Thrive (not just survive) in Times of Personal and Global Upheaval available on pre-order through her website www.LifeQuake.net.