In her best-selling book, The Truths We Hold, Kamala Harris, the first female vice president, the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, and the first African American and first Asian American vice president moves the reader through her incredible political career, her inspiring childhood and her family life as a woman. The book teaches us one of these six lessons.
- Words Matter. When one grows up, we usually take it for granted which words or phrases we send their way. A child learns best from their parents – particularly their mums. If we do choose the wrong wording, they will grow up in the wrong way and the reverse is true. As Kamala’s mum would always emphasize to her; “you may be the first but don’t be the last” words have a unique power and agency as we advance in life. Nobody knew that little girl was being prepared for the second most powerful position on earth.
- An Educated Mum Always Grooms a Successful Future. Kamala’s mum was just 25 when she gave birth to her. She had a PHD in Medicine too! Her dad was Professor Emeritus of Economics. That kind of family is a dream of every well-meaning kid. In the 20th century Black America, it even meant more. Education creates a sense of purpose. It reminds the kid that they have no limitations on their way. It is most defined in the grand concept of the American Dream – that if you work hard, and you do right by the world, your kids will be better than you are. Kamala proved that right.
- Trust is Reciprocal. Kamala Harris says, “you give trust and you receive trust.” There is no other way to it. She describes this connection as the “reciprocal relationship of trust.” Most times, people complain that they are not being trusted. But have you ever asked yourself how much trust capital you are investing in that kind of relationship? Kamala Harris lives by the power of her examples. While an intern, she put in an extraordinary effort that earned her trust from her boss. She was able to fight for justice while as an intern. That tells you what trust means and how to build it.
- Confidence is built at an early age. While a teenage girl, Kamala was cooking when she messed the family meal. She put salt in a sugar bowl, but her auntie didn’t scorn her. Instead she said: “this one tastes a little bit delicious although it is a bit salty.” That feedback was quite moving for a kid like Kamala. Her mum, Kamala says, hates a statement such as “it is too hard” and success in her mum’s household was measured by “how one changed other’ life.” At the early age, her mum would always stress “fight systems and make them just and fair and don’t be limited by what has been.” Those kinds of statements have remained a driving force for Kamala later.
- Failure is not an End. When Kamala Harris flanked the bar, she didn’t stop there. She went right back and won big second time. Had she left the bar exams the way it was, she would, arguably not have been the Vice President of the United States of America today. So, do fight on despite the failed initial attempt. You shall win big in life.
- The Future of Work is Smart & Complex. “The jobs of the future will require education beyond high school diploma and that calls for making higher education more accessible and affordable,” Kamala writes. Research and development will most likely dominate policy and academic circles thus affecting how we conduct stuffs in the society. She writes: “you have to be willing to test your hypothesis and find out if your solution works, based on metrics and data.” She continues to warn that “blind adherence to tradition should not be the measure of success.”