The Grit


Often used in the context of raising children who aim to fulfil their potentials, when said, the term grit, too many conjure images of the famous Rocky Balboa. In the past epoch or so, the term has taken an entirely new meaning and has immensely stolen the attention of instructors and parents.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, in the context of behaviour, grit is defined as ‘firmness of character, indomitable spirit’. In her study, Duckworth, tweaked it to be constant perseverance, passion and determination for the long-term goals. While expounding further on it, she stated that one’s ability to be gritty it’s their resilience to stick with things that are important to them and are much ready to bounce back in case of setbacks or failures. Often, the smartest person isn’t the most successful; alternatively, a naturally talented kid in a team might turn out not to be the star player. It’s all about grit, as natural talent without practice and continuous effort it’s of no essence. With grit one can develop their ability, they can get even much stronger and superior at something when they work hard on it.  Prepare to witness an epic of development of the most world’s influential president who rose from grass to grace and stood against all the odds.

The skinny kid with a funny name

If grit is a measure of success, then the skinny kid with a funny name is a living testimony. The 44th president of the United States, Barrack Obama, who was unusually stilted at the beginning, but he later found his rhythm. Being born in Hawaii, in a mixed heritage, having his father from Kenya and mother from Kansas. The two met in University of Hawaii back in the 1960s. His parents’ marriage was short-lived as interracial marriage was still unique in America. Living his early childhood life as a tale, he once felt conflicted by many happenings as he was among the handful of black students in American schools. For a time, he was affected by the things that African American teens felt from their counterpart who were pure whites changing his studies and his grades slipped. Recalling Kenneth Meeks interview on black enterprise, there was a need for rebellion against the society to prove their blackness; however, this resulted in self- destructive behaviour.

Excelling from Harvard Law School, Barrack was elected as that president of the Harvard law review journal. He had a passion for defending the poor and marginalised members of society. In Chicago, he worked as a local voter registration drive for thousand black voters and also as a community organiser in a housing project. He recounts the difficulty of the charity work experience, as the program experienced resistance from entrenched community members and some leaders as well, he also faced apathy on the part of the established bureaucracy. During the same time, he visited his family in Kenya. He learnt the truth of his father’s bitter life in Kenya, the emotional experience in his memoir, made him firm in his movement on race and race relations in the USA.

After his senatorial seat victory, he championed a bill that was to give tax break to low-income folks, expand health insurance program for the less fortunate children and a statement that mandated law enforcement among officials in every community to keep track of traffic stops as well as noting the driver race. As much as many legislatures saw the bill to be too controversial, it was anonymously passed, many thanks to his resilience efforts in looking for support from political parties. He aimed to reduce the racial profiling and the undue suspicion on ethnic groups by officials on patrol. He also made a move on passing a bill that required officers to videotape assassination and homicide confessions encouraging tremendous success and change in the lives of the minority in the states.

As some of his supporters thought he was aiming too high for some positions, surprisingly he managed to do what few African American politicians had ever done, he recorded an impressive number of votes from areas that were predominantly for the whites. Knowing how to shape public opinion in the internet age, remaining a less squeaky wheel to politician’s noise and having the zeal to empower others has seen Obama move to great heights. Regardless of the negative racial relations and mixed heritage he could bounce back to his shortcomings and setbacks and has entered the history books of records as the most world’s influential person.

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