When Joe Biden was called as the newest President of the United States, many people across the globe were elated. For President Biden and his amazing achievement that he’d wanted for so long, but also for the woman by his side – his Vice President, Kamala Harris.
As not only the first Black and first South Asian to be a Vice President, but the first WOMAN Vice President, this was a shining light in the darkness that we’ve seen in 2020 so far.
At 56 years old, she might be Vice President, but she’s broken a lot of barriers down and has made history several times during her career. So what can we learn from this trailblazer? We took a look at some of Ms Harris’ most legendary quotes, relating to her career and the lessons she’s learned – and we are passing them on to you!
Lesson #1: “I’m speaking”
The mic was DROPPED. Kamala said this iconic line during the first (and only) US vice-presidential debate of 2020 to Mike Pence, former Vice President. She was making a point and he began talking over her. She cut straight in to finish her point. Women across the world cheered her on as they remembered being spoken over during long meetings when they are the minority in the room. Mr Pence was clearly shocked, but Kamala stood her ground – take this lesson and run – don’t let anyone speak over you!
Lesson #2: “I eat ‘no’ for breakfast”
Kamala said this line in reference to being told that what she wanted to do wasn’t right for her at the time: “And let me just tell you, I eat ‘no’ for breakfast, so I would recommend the same. It’s a hearty breakfast”. It’s a strong lesson in going after what you want and never giving up. Look at her now.
Lesson #3: “You never have to ask anyone permission to lead”
Kamala said this to two young women at a rally in Iowa last year. “I want you to remember that, OK? When you want to lead, you lead”. Basically, she means that you should not wait for permission for someone to tell you to lead. You can give yourself permission.
Lesson #4: “Speak like a leader”
“Anyone who claims to be a leader must speak like a leader,” Kamala shared on Instagram in 2019. She says that means speaking with integrity and truth, two qualities that a good leader should have. It’s obvious she will carry these values through her Vice Presidency, so take note. She also previously promised to be a great Vice Presidency to Joe Biden, unveiling what true leadership means to her – loyalty, honesty and preparation.
Lesson #5: “You are powerful”
Kamala said: “What I want young women and girls to know is: You are powerful and your voice matters”, during an interview with Marie Claire. She is a champion for women, for the marginalised and wants to empower others to take huge steps forward. Just knowing your power is an amazing feeling as it emboldens you into knowing that you can do anything.
Lesson #6: “Don’t let them burden you”
“There will be people who say to you, ‘You are out of your lane,’” Harris said during the 2020 Black Girls Lead conference. “They are burdened by only having the capacity to see what has always been instead of what can be. But don’t you let that burden you.” What Kamala means here is to see the bigger picture – if you can see a better way, a road thus far untravelled – go for it. Don’t let people keep you in your box!
She is truly the no bullshit, straight-talking career woman we’ve been missing from the White House, right? She just shows that women can thrive doing things their own way.
Were you inspired by Kamala Harris becoming the first female Vice President? What’s the thing that’s inspired you most?