Why Barack Obama Cried Over Gun Control
By Sukh Singh, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International
In January this year, President Obama gave an important speech about changing the gun law in the USA. For several years now, the US has seen school and university shootings across the country. Kids killing kids. In his speech, the President spoke about the children and young people who had been killed at their place of learning; at Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012, some were as young as six years old. Just this week, a former UCLA student shot and killed a professor before committing suicide. One other shooting took place in 2014, at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I had spent a year studying-abroad. I remember hearing about the murders at the time, and remembered exactly where I had been; it felt like my home town had been ravaged by an insane act of violence.
But this isn't about gun crime or violence - it is about why a President cried on national television during a speech and why we absolutely need to learn from him.
You can watch the speech here;
As CNN reporter Mel Robbins writes,
"I've always believed that if you and I were forced to see the scene inside the Sandy Hook elementary school in the moments after Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six adult staff members -- instead of shown photos of the killer- we'd be moved to tears and inspired to act...
He(the President) took a heavy pause, and he got in touch with the real story -- the human one. He put politics aside and reminded us what this is really all about.
Weeping over the shooting death of children -- of anyone -- is appropriate and important. That this is noteworthy when someone does this in public says a lot about where America is. Someone had to do it.
We are so accustomed to gun violence that we have become inured to it -- numb. It's easier.
The President cried because he allowed himself to feel something no one wants to feel: the tremendous pain of losing someone you love, the shame of knowing you did nothing to prevent it and the relief that overcomes you when you commit to changing. Obama is not numb -- when you're numb you do nothing."
Many people may look at this speech and the President crying as a sign of weakness. As Mel Robbins says, we live in a world where it's easier to be numb and make intellectual decisions. Feelings can hurt. They can be hard and they can scare us. But it is only when we get in touch with what we are actually feeling, actually experiencing, that we can be driven to take action. Most people usually want their leaders to be strong figureheads who are perfect in every way. What Barack Obama did in January is one of the strongest things a political leader has done in a very long time - he showed his humanness... his vulnerability. Cut him, he bleeds. When children are killed, he feels hurt. Yet as painful as it is, that pain provides immense strength when he needs it the most.
There isn't a legend alive who is walking around numb and devoid of feeling. They are in touch with their passions, their pains, their struggles and their hopes.
If you'd like to learn more about the power of vulnerability, click here for an amazing video by Brené Brown. You can also get in touch with someone from the Legends Report team below.
If there was any area of society that you could be involved in making a difference in, what would you love to do? What do you feel most passionate about? Share in the comments below...