Photo: Michelle Obama Podcast/Spotify
Spotify released the first episode of the Michelle Obama Podcast on July 29. It was 45 minutes of relaxed, enriching conversation on topics ranging from Michelle’s upbringing to young people’s attitudes towards government.
The former first lady brought in her husband, Barack Obama, as the special guest. Hearing him speak – and feeling the calm that emanates from him – was a refreshing break from all that’s been going on since his presidency ended. His voice is tailor-made for a podcast, and the chemistry with his wife is undeniable.
At the outset, Michelle explains that she will focus her podcast on “the relationships that make us who we are. Sometimes that might be as personal as our relationship with ourselves.” She goes on to talk about being brought up on the south side of Chicago, with multiple siblings and parents who didn’t earn much. But, she said, their lack of money had no impact on their loving and tight-knit household. She also noted that her parents instilled a strong work ethic in her, which gave her the values that propelled her to become a successful and happy person. One of those values she was taught was the importance of helping the community.
Different Upbringing, Shared Values – Michelle Obama Podcast
Barack grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia, and was raised by a single mother and his grandparents. His upbringing was entirely different from Michelle’s but he, too, was taught from an early age about the importance of helping others. In the end, this would be at least one of the shared values that attracted them to each other. As Michelle said to Barack during the podcast, “One of the reasons I fell in love with you is because you are guided by the principle that we are each other’s brothers and sisters keepers.”
Perhaps not coincidentally, they each came to the same realization very early in their careers. While working at an elite law firm from whose windows she could see her old neighborhood, Michelle said she “…never felt further from [that neighborhood] than when I was sitting in that office working on briefs and cases that had nothing to do with anything that helped a broader group of people outside of myself.”
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Along the same vein, Barack said, “I think I figured out once I got to school that if I am chasing after my own success, that somehow, I am going to end up alone and unhappy. And that’s why I ended up going into community organizing…And I thought, you know, that looks like hard work but it never looks like lonely work.” Despite the different environments in which they started their lives, they ended up on the same selfless, meaningful path.
Hope – Michelle Obama Podcast
My favorite part of the podcast was how they related their own biographical information brought them to the topic of American society at large. Both of them pointed out how, unfortunately, not every community has the “lookout for each other” mentality. Some people would rather prioritize looking out for themselves and their own families, which helps create an economic and racial divide.
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The world might be a more caring and accepting place in general if more people shared the Obamas’ principles. Of course, they aren’t perfect. But it’s hard to find fault with their inspirational ideals.
According to newsroom.spotify.com, the next episodes will be on topics “ranging from sibling relationships and raising children to girlfriends, women’s health, mentorship, and marriage. An array of special guests, including Dr. Sharon Malone MD, Craig Robinson, Valerie Jarett, Conan O’Brien, and Michele Norris, will join the First Lady for each conversation.” Stream her podcast now on Spotify, and be prepared to hear some soothing – and enlightening – conversation.
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