I am grateful that President Obama’s book gave me insights into fatherhood, listening and growing individually, fostering the best in others even when they don’t see it and much more – including some great laughs!
What I heard, listened to, digested, was impressed/struck/stopped by, am still listening to!
Insights from the handwritten page of notes go here.Earlier pages.
[In response to Tea Party criticism, accusations and slander] ….made a point of not commenting on any of this – and not just because Ace had reams of data telling us that [both the opposition and supporters both actually] reacted poorly to lectures…as a matter of principle, I didn’t believe a president should ever whine publicly about criticism … – it’s what you signed up for taking the job – and I was quick to remind both reporters and friends that my white predecessors had all endured their share of vicious personal attacks and obstructionism. More practically, I saw no way to sort out people’s motives….[on this, see, once again, how Obama is constantly thinking about the perceptions of others to his every little action/in-action (both, action AND inaction evoke something and/or compound on the last perception and/or with current events in people’s lives of which I have nothing to do with or even knowledge about sometimes, and how this’ll affect the next thing, etc….see also note on page 378).405
He had to constantly consider the perspectives, limits, reactions, pacing, capacity, timing, appearance, traction of former and upcoming initiatives when rolling anything out – big or small. What would be the effect? What is lingering effect from the last roll out? How will this one (after all the past ones compounding) affect the next one? What else are people experiencing in their personal and social (and everything else) contexts (consciously or subconsciously)? He/we simply can’t do anything alone.378
Also before conceding anything to those who are opposing, before trying to compromise or go halfway, consider if they are just going for blood and will take more than they would now…409
We’d [his black colleagues, friends, acquaintances] grown skilled at suppressing our reactions to minor slights, ever ready to give white colleagues the benefit of the doubt, remaining mindful that all but the most careful discussions of race risked triggering in them a mild panic.398