Foreword becoming Michelle Obama

March 2017

When I was a kid, my aspirations were simple. I wanted a dog. I wanted a house that had stairs in it—two floors for one family. I wanted, for some reason, a four-door station wagon instead of the two-door Buick that was my father’s pride and joy. I used to tell people that when I grew up, I was going to be a pediatrician. Why? Because I loved being around little kids and I quickly learned that it was a pleasing answer for adults to hear. Oh, a doctor! What a good choice! In those days, I wore pigtails and bossed my older brother around and managed, always and no matter what, to get As at school. I was ambitious, though I didn’t know exactly what I was shooting for. Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.

So far in my life, I’ve been a lawyer. I’ve been a vice president at a hospital and the director of a nonprofit that helps young people build meaningful careers. I’ve been a working-class black student at a fancy mostly white college. I’ve been the only woman, the only African American, in all sorts of rooms. I’ve been a bride, a stressed-out new mother, a daughter torn up by grief. And until recently, I was the First Lady of the United States of America—a job that’s not

officially a job, but that nonetheless has given me a platform like nothing I could have imagined. It challenged me and humbled me, lifted me up and shrank me down, sometimes all at once. I’m just beginning to process what took place over these last years—from the moment in 2006 when my husband first started talking about running for president to the cold morning this winter when I climbed into a limo with Melania Trump, accompanying her to her husband’s inauguration. It’s been quite a ride.

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Os Quatro Poderes da Natureza

Em seu livro de mecânica teórica, Leonardo Da Vinci reúne conceitos utilizados em centenas de projetos de máquinas como pontes levadiças, paraquedas, tanques de guerra e, pasmem, veículos autopropulsores como carros e bicicletas.

A base para a compreensão da mecânica aplicada estava no que Da Vinci chamava dos quatro poderes da natureza, a saber: peso, força, movimento e choque, que o mestre renascentista designava como “poderes da natureza pelos quais a raça humana, em suas maravilhosas e várias obras, parece criar uma segunda natureza neste mundo“.

A forma peculiar como Da Vinci à sua época percebia estes fenômenos, desprovido de toda a tecnologia que hoje nos facilita a definição destes conceitos, era baseada puramente na observação dos fatos e pela sua talentosa capacidade de interpretação da natureza, fonte e inspiração de toda produção humana.


Para compreender o conceito de peso, Da Vinci se baseava no contraposto da leveza, na medida em que a ausência de um define a existência do outro:

“A leveza não é criada a menos que se junte ao peso, nem o peso é produzido, a menos que seja colocado acima da leveza e tampouco a leveza tem existência alguma, a menos que exista sob o peso…”

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