“Where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up”

Barack Obama

“At the end of the day, the circumstances of your life-- what you look like,where you come from, how much money you have, what you've got going on at home--none of that is an excuse... where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up. No ones written your destiny for you, because here in America, you write you own destiny.You make your own future.”

Barack Obama

“And that brings me to one last point. I've got a simple message for all the dedicated and patriotic federal workers who have either worked without pay, or who have been forced off the job without pay for these last few weeks. Including most of my own staff. Thank you. Thanks for your service. Welcome back. What you do is important. It matters. You defend our country overseas, you deliver benefits to our troops who earned them when they come home, you guard our borders, you protect our civil rights, you help businesses grow and gain footholds in overseas markets. You protect the air we breathe, and the water our children drink, and you push the boundaries of science and space, and you guide hundreds of thousands of people each day through the glories of this country. Thank you. What you do is important, and don't let anybody else tell you different.”

Barack Obama

“Same thing with the distinction Johnnie made between good kids and bad kids—the distinction didn’t compute in my head. It seemed based on a premise that defied my experience, an assumption that children could somehow set the terms of their own development. I thought about Bernadette’s five-year-old son, scampering about the broken roads of Altgeld, between a sewage plant and a dump. Where did he sit along the spectrum of goodness? If he ended up in a gang or in jail, would that prove his essence somehow, a wayward gene … or just the consequences of a malnourished world? And”

Barack Obama

“My heart is filled with love for this country.”

Barack Obama

“Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it.” 

Barack Obama

“For in the end laws are just words on a page - words that are sometimes malleable, opaque, as dependent on context and trust as they are in a story or poem or promise to someone, words whose meanings are subject to erosion, sometimes collapsing in the blink of an eye.”

Barack Obama

“Our individualism has always been bound by a set of communal values, the glue upon which every healthy society depends.”

Barack Obama

“I screwed up.”

Barack Obama

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.”

Barack Obama

“It's not a question we ask ourselves enough, I think; as a country, we seem to be suffering from an empathy deficit. We wouldn't tolerate schools that don't teach, that are chronically underfunded and understaffed and underinspired, if we thought that the children in them were like our children. I believe a stronger sense of empathy would tilt the balance of our current politics in favor of those who are struggling. If we fail to help, we diminish ourselves.”

Barack Obama

“A woman named Helen Keller fought her way through long, silent darkness. Though she could not see or hear, she taught us to look at and listen to each other. Never waiting for life to get easier, she gave others courage to face their challenges.”

Barack Obama

“Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.”

Barack Obama

“I'm so overexposed, I'm making Paris Hilton look like a recluse.”

Barack Obama

“But we do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached - their faith in human progress - must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey. For if we lose that faith - if we dismiss it as silly or naïve; if we divorce it from the decisions that we make on issues of war and peace - then we lose what is best about humanity. We lose our sense of possibility. We lose our moral compass.”

Barack Obama


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