How Hillary Clinton Is The Ideal Role Model, And Not Just For Gen-Y Women

by Katie Gonzalez

With the release of her new memoir, "Hard Choices," Hillary Clinton hit the press circuit yesterday to share her thoughts on her career and life thus far.

The book has already unleashed the haters; some have labeled its release as an attempt at “rebranding,” while others deride her for “playing it safe” and being “big on smiles, small on substance.

But I definitely disagree with the last sentiment. While — let’s all admit — this is a book by a politician, so it obviously serves some aim and is not about to burn any career-ending bridges, Hillary Clinton has been sharing a lot of interesting and revealing information with the world these days.

Through her personal stories, whether it be a difficult decision made as Secretary of State, or a fond recollection of her late mother, Hillary Clinton continues to be a role model for women and men everywhere.

It’s not just that her experiences can only apply to the lives of Gen-Y women who are hoping to one day pursue successful careers in public service or governmental policy. Instead, the lessons that Hillary Clinton imparts are applicable to both men and women alike because they help show how one person can overcome a lot to actually make a difference and make a mark.

Picking and choosing from all the interviews she’s given over the past few days, from People magazine, to Diane Sawyer, to Robin Roberts — we’re rounding up the best HRC quotes that can apply to everyday life situations.

“I made it clear: I’m not going to attack somebody for being a woman or a man; I’m going to try to look at the issues, where they stand, what their experience is, what they intend to do, and then that’s fair game.”

With all the hate and misogyny geared at women these days, do we really need more people needlessly tearing us down?

Instead of attacking our “enemies” simply because they’re there, it’s important to focus on the actual substance that we take issue with. Girl-on-girl hate due to jealousy or entirely fabricated feelings isn’t right, there’s enough room for all women to succeed.

But it’s not just about gender: Instead of worrying about what the opponent is like, determine who you are, and the values and ideas you’re all about. The best way to work successfully is to know your own story, your own strengths and not to get sidetracked by office politics (or, in HRC’s case, actual politics).

“When you're in the spotlight as a woman, you know you're being judged constantly. I mean it is just never ending…Your natural tendency is how do you bring people together so that you can better communicate. I'm done with that, I'm just done.”

Hillary Clinton jokes about how an alternative title for her memoir could have been “The Scrunchie Chronicles: 112 Countries and It’s Still All About My Hair.”

Her comments highlight how the media (not to mention the GOP) are still so preoccupied with all the wrong things when it comes to women — instead of analyzing her seriousness as a diplomat and politician, world leaders and political pundits alike have tended to focus on the unimportant, superficial things, like her affinity for pantsuits and hair pulled up in an ‘80s hair piece.

Many people might be too easily swayed by style over substance, but HRC’s acknowledgement of those who are overly superficial and focused on entirely all the wrong things is a sign that others’ misconceptions and ignorance don’t have to define you.

If Hillary’s press corps wants to talk about her sartorial choices more than her efforts to stop sexual violence, then that’s its prerogative. But Hillary Clinton indicates that you don’t have to drop to these people's level by changing anything about yourself to curry any more favor. People will always talk, and often about all the wrong things. Be better than that.

“I am 100 percent in the camp that says forgiveness is mostly about the forgiver. I know too many people, having now lived as long as I have, who can never get over it…Forgiveness is a way of opening up the doors again and moving forward, whether it's a personal life or a national life.”

Between Bill for cheating, Monica Lewinsky for being the overeager intern and Barack Obama for clinching the Democratic nomination back in 2008, Hillary Clinton has gracefully learned to accept the important-but-never-easy ability to forgive.

And I think she’s become a more gracious, skilled leader for it. Instead of remaining overly proud or bullheaded, it’s important to understand how to take defeat and adjust expectation.

Hillary Clinton has proved that people can move on from bad or upsetting situations, and be all the better for it.

The attack on the US embassay in Libya is “more a reason to” run for president in 2016

Hillary Clinton has said that, as Secretary of State during the 2012 attack on Behghazi, she assumes responsibility for the lost lives of Americans, including US Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens.

But instead of shying away from the topic or bowing out gracefully (because you know the GOP will use this against her if she does decide to make a bid for Commander in Chief) before more questions arise, Clinton has said that what happened in Libya is even more of a reason to run for president.

Instead of shirking away from a bad portion of her past, Clinton wants to move forward and try to make the world more right as a result.

It’s this resiliency and unwavering belief in the ability to create something better that constitutes the “vision” of a good leader. It’s OK to admit to mistakes — as long as you promise to learn from them and improve the conditions around you as a result.

Photo credit: WENN