A Promised Land

A Promised Land

The book ‘A Promised Land’ written by Barack Obama, a former President of the United States of America, is a compelling account of his journey as a young man searching for his own identity and how he at some point in his life felt that he was from everywhere and nowhere all at once.


My favorite quote from the book is;


          “The truth is, I’ve never been a big believer in destiny. I worry that it encourages resignation in the down-and-out and complacency among the powerful. I suspect that God’s plan, whatever it is, works on a scale too large to admit our mental tribulations; that in a single lifetime, accidents and happenstance determine more than we can admit; and the best we can do is try to align ourselves with what we feel is right and construct some meaning out of our confusion, and with grace and nerve play at each moment the hand that we were dealt.”


Barack Obama American President



He continues to explain how his parents and other influencers shaped his belief that you can build power, not by putting others down, but by lifting them.

This became his ambition as he started to construct his life in Politics.


In November of 2008, he was voted in as the 44th President of America, and the world had to contemplate the intrinsic value of a Democracy.


For many around the world America, again became the epiphany of “A Promised Land”. Where you can dream big dreams, in a land that offers many opportunities and great freedoms.



In his book, he brings the reader an account of what it is like to be the President of the United States of America, the challenges brought about by political, economic, and cultural crosscurrents, the choices he had to make in the face of the forces that opposed him. He tells how the men and women that he worked with in the White House experienced the same daily mix of satisfaction, disappointment, office friction, mess-ups, and small triumphs as any other person.


This book is packed with interesting perspectives from a man who is a linguistic master, as he reveals his story of coming to the conclusion; “never to wait for confidence to arrive, or you’ll wait a damn long time”.


He says that he wrote this particular book while carrying his own burden of self-doubt, “nobody is going to want to read this” and “I could have phrased thát better”, yet at the time he already won a Nobel Peace Prize and two Grammy awards.


We are all just human. We have our doubts and burdens to carry, but this book serves to be an open invitation to all mankind, to remake our own world, through hard work, determination, compassion, and a willingness to engage with the world around us.

For some, the book may contain too much detail about US politics, but it paints the picture of the state of affairs in the USA before and during his Presidency. At least from his point of view.

He might not be one of your favorite American Presidents, I am sure you have your list of reasons, but I find his journey inspiring, his ability to engage with all kinds of people phenomenal, and I want to believe that he got into the political race for the right reasons.


The insight that I got from reading this book is that whatever your point of view, whatever your intentions, whatever your ability, no one person can keep the course of a nation, a society, a church group, or a family unit on track. We need collaboration, shared goals, and a willingness to find optimal solutions, because the deliberate actions of opposition, just for the sake of obstructing progress, can do more harm than good. 


We should all be more aware of this fact as we vote our leaders into power.


Pick up this highly recommended book.


Barak uses the English language very eloquently.

I found a few interesting expressive words in his book, such as:


Iconoclastic:  (adjective) – attacking or ignoring cherished beliefs and long-held traditions, etc., as being based on error, superstition, or lack of creativity.

Behemoth:  If you refer to something as a behemoth, you mean that it is extremely large, and often that it is unpleasant, inefficient, or difficult to manage or it is a person of exceptional importance and reputation.

Apoplectic: (adjective) – If someone is apoplectic, they are extremely angry about something.

Ruminations:  (noun) – the act of pondering or musing on something.


Other funky words found it his book include:

Malfeasance, A corollary lesson, 

Bespectacled, Ensuing, Quixotic, Curmudgeonly, 

Renegade, Pugnacious, Castigated.


https://www.dictionary.com   https://www.collinsdictionary.com   https://www.vocabulary.com

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