Former President Barack Obama attended an event at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he spoke on many subjects, none as important as his daughters.
As a parent, Obama decided that he would teach his girls the important life lessons they would need as they got older.
Obama shared with the audience that he and Michelle has instilled values in their daughters at a very early age. Since they were toddlers they were told, “being responsible is an enormous privilege.”
The former Senator from Illinois told a story about the Malia and Sasha that had the audience laughing. Obama said, “When they were small, their responsibilities were small., like, say when you want to go potty. As you get older your responsibilities grow.”
Obama also shared that his wife believes in what he called “basic homespun values.” Michelle’s definition of that is all people should be “kind, considerate, empathetic and hardworking.”
The former President said that not only have they instilled these values in their daughters, he tries to to live by those values every day.
“These are the tools by which you can shape the world around you in a way that feels good…owning responsibility is what makes them or anyone a fully grown human, that means other people rely on you, that you have infuluence, that you can make your mark,” Obama said.
Now 16 and 19, Sasha and Malia are contributing to society in various ways. Obama taught his daughters to “play to their strengths,” so to speak. He taught them to be “persistent,” stating that change isn’t easy. He gave the example of an engineer. If protesting isn’t your thing, you could create an app to help millions of people
Obama said that although he didn’t “set the world on fire” with his early work in Chicago, his work as a community organizer “taught me an incredible amount.”