(Provided by CalPac, Friday, January 27, 2017)
Last week, we said goodbye to President Barack Obama, as he transitioned out of the White House and our new president was sworn in. There are many lessons we can take from our country’s leadership over the past eight years, one of which, is the importance of reading and writing.
Obama credits much of his success – as a person, student, father and president – to books. In fact, Doug Mills of the New York Times recently said that, “Not since Lincoln has there been a president as fundamentally shaped — in his life, convictions and outlook on the world — by reading and writing as Barack Obama.”
Throughout his life and presidency, Obama has looked to books and famous texts for companionship in lonely or isolating times, inspiration throughout hardships, and ideas in problem solving situations. Among his favorite authors? Other historical figures, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Nelson Mandela.
“At a time when events move so quickly and so much information is transmitted,” Obama said, reading allowed him to “slow down and get perspective” and “the ability to get in somebody else’s shoes.” These two things, he added, “have been invaluable to me.”
Between assigned readings for school, textbooks, and research articles, it can be challenging to find time – and motivation – to pick up a book or e-reader and get lost in a non-fiction story or biography of a historical figure. Try it. If books were Obama’s “secret to surviving the White House”, they just might help you get through middle and high school.
Read more about Obama's Secrets to Success in the NY Times here.
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