The Morning Bun: Quick blurbs with a fresh take on our young professional lives that we would probably share over mimosas…if it were not a weekday.
Alright, I’m going to try my hardest to not get teary-eyed recapping Obama’s legacy after just watching his remarkable Farewell Address. I could fill out pages, probably books, with compliments to heap on that man: classy, convicted, resolute, intelligent, fervent, inspirational — you name it. I could do that, but I’ll let every mainstream media outlet do that, so I thought I’d add a personal element for just how much Barack Obama meant to me personally: profound, not revolutionary.
Barack Obama impacted all of us in different ways. We each carry our unique passions, fears, attitudes leading to a diverse outlook on a legendary public figure. For some, he may have influenced our decisions to enter politics, social affairs, community work. For many, he may have forced us to think twice about leadership, motivation, and humility.
Even within that subgroup, Barack Obama’s influence on us may be different. For me, the answer is clear: his presence. The way he conducted himself both on and off the screen. His charisma is, quite frankly, unrivaled. As an extrovert with drabbles of charisma (the only horn-tooting here), I was consistently blown away by Obama’s dynamic personality. What a fricken personality this guy had .
This man had class — the way he treated visiting Presidents and the High School Janitor with the same dignity, respect, and interest. I think we all (even you, my introverted friends) can take notes from that play — all people deserve our time.
This man had flair — it would seriously be difficult to think of too many entertainers, musicians, and actors (you know, the ones where charisma is their job) with more of that natural rhythm, the integrity, the charm of Obama (funny enough, he was the only non-traditional comedian featured on Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”).
This man had skills — when speaking in front of audiences, how could you not fall for the subtle jokes, the patience, the eloquence displayed exuberantly every time? Like Jerry Seinfeld performing standup, Stephen Colbert hosting his show, or Greg Popovic in the locker room, Obama and the stage behind the podium was his playing field…and boy did he play.
This man defied the odds — It’s crazy to me how Barack Obama is a human just like you or I. He certainly eats, I’m sure he poops, and by all means, sleeps (well, most of the time).
Alright, let’s backtrack a second (sorry I couldn’t help the “poop” joke). I need to say it again: Barack Obama is one human being. His impact feels much bigger than one single man, right?
Well, for all of the followers, the policies, the treaties, the bills, the mentees, none discount the number of profiles for Barack Obama’s Twitter account: one. That’s right, even Obama just as easily could have lived a conventional human life. He could have made different decisions, not necessarily worse, but just different. He could have lacked any conviction whatsoever this was a path for him. He certainly could have. But he didn’t — thanks to an unmatched inner management & belief system (you know, his mind). This powerful system could not allow his mind to fathom a typical life with the typical experiences and the typical impact. This system made all of the difference. This sytem certainly willed his way to the road less traveled.
Better yet, it led him to the road almost never traveled; becoming President of the United States just might be the most atypical human experience there is (I’m sure the % of humans in the world who have been this is .000000000000000000000000001%).
An atypical experience for an atypical man that could have just as easily turned out typical.
Barack Obama’s existence as one person like you and I has to serve as motivation. He’s not a superhuman, yet he quite literally changed the world. Folks will think “aw shucks” do you know how hard it is to become POTUS? Well, Barack Obama is living proof (especially to you Gen Z’ers) it’s not impossible to be President of the United States. Same goes for a CEO of a major company, director of a transnational nonprofit, Olympic swimmer— it’s just really, really, really, really, ridiculously difficult. Still not impossible.