Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Obamas: Setting a new standard of "values"

Who created the rulebook that says if you make more money or if you hold a high position, you have to act differently?

For some reason, I think we have been convinced that if we make more money, we should spend more money, be in a certain neighborhood, and have certain friends. Think about it. How many people who grew up in poverty, went to college, and became highly successful, moved back to live in the same community where they grew up? On the other hand, how many went of and became successful, got a big house in a nice area, began buying more expensive clothes, and spending more money in the unspoken name of "prestige"?

Why does having money or having a higher position dictate that we must remove ourselves or change our lifestyle?

So when I read about Michelle Obama spending her first few days in the White House meeting with the entire staff and getting to know them, I couldn't help but be further impressed. The article went on to talk about the Obamas' plan to keep their daughters as down-to-earth as possible--no nanny...the kids pick up after themselves...and President and Mrs. Obama still plan to attend parent meetings at the school.

I've read the critics who say the Obama's are "wooing" the press. But, in all of my adult life, I have never heard of a president or presidential family who was so intentional about being inclusive...about ensuring that the people who are traditionally at the bottom (...literally...they are in the basement of the White House) are valued. That's so refreshing.

It's refreshing to think that the message coming from the White House is inclusivity, valuing all people, and reprimanding those who spend our stimulus tax dollars on lavish jets and bonuses rather than, "Spend! Spend! Spend!" It's a message in values for our country.
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