Both former First Lady Michelle and former President Barack Obama spoke today at a virtual YouTube graduation ceremony that was announced early last month. Both shared politically charged messages that echoed the “hope and change” theme that was part of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.
Michelle Obama told the graduates that “anger is a powerful force. It can be a useful force, but left on its own, it will only corrode and destroy and sow chaos on the inside and out. But when anger is focused, when it’s channeled into something more, oh, that is the stuff that changes history.”
So much has changed so quickly. And if any of you are confused or scared or angry—or just plain overwhelmed—I just want you to know that you aren’t alone. I am feeling all that, too. And I have a few things I want to say about it.
Barack Obama told them that “as scary and uncertain as these times may be, they are also a wake-up call, and they are an incredible opportunity, for your generation. Because you don’t have to accept what was considered normal before. The challenges we face go beyond a virus. The old normal wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t working that well.”
As has always been true at key moments in history, it’s going to depend on young people to go out there and rewrite what is possible. I couldn’t be prouder of all the young people leading that change right now. Here’s my advice for the Class of 2020: