Widely celebrated both for being the first African American First Lady in United States history, and for embracing the role to inspire real change, Michelle Obama has used her compassion to shine a spotlight on issues that are too often overlooked, and turned her compassion into action to ensure that spotlight had a real and enduring impact. Not only is Michelle Obama a cum laude graduate from Princeton, she has used that education to inspire global change in aid and opportunity for impoverished countries. Focused on lifting up women and empowering them to discover and grow their own power, Obama created the viral Twitter campaign, “#62MillionGirls”, sparking widespread awareness of the number of women and girls globally without access to education. Using her position as a platform for positive change, she visited schools and soup kitchens, often as an active volunteer, even going as far as bringing members of congress and representatives to assist her. Her compassion in action made huge impacts on the issues for which she cared deeply. From her “Let’s Move” child health campaign, to her public statements on women’s education and LGBTQ rights, Michelle Obama is a role model of active compassion and the powerful impact of bringing compassion forward.
Compassionate people see suffering and lean into it. When someone is struggling, their first thought is, “What can I do?”
They are deeply affected by pain, but rather than turn away from it, they harness the impact and use it to fuel themselves into action. Acts of compassion can be as simple as a ride to work on a rainy day, or as wide-reaching as organizing disaster relief efforts or founding a charity to lift up others. A helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, a light in the dark… compassionate people are the glue that holds families, friends and communities together. They keep businesses, governments and organizations on paths of positive change. They are the calm in a storm, steadily focused on making the sun shine again. But the greatest power in compassion is its ability to wake up compassion in others.
We celebrate compassionate women for their courage to face suffering head on and leading others to ask, “What can I do?”