July 27, 2021 8:20:45 am
Speaking at the Arizona State University in 2009, former US President Barack Obama gave an impassioned speech. “Many of our current challenges are unprecedented. There are no standard remedies, no go-to fixes this time around. And Class of 2009, that’s why we’re going to need your help. We need young people like you to step up. We need your daring, we need your enthusiasm, we need your energy, and we need your imagination,” he said.
“And let me be clear, when I say ‘young’, I’m not just referring to the date of your birth certificate. I’m talking about an approach to life, a quality of mind and a quality of heart, a willingness to follow your passions, regardless of whether they lead to fortune and fame, a willingness to question conventional wisdom and rethink old dogmas, a lack of regard for all the traditional markers of status and prestige and a commitment instead to doing what’s meaningful to you, what helps others, what makes a difference in this world,” he added.
He concluded his speech with a heartwarming message. “Find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Rise to their needs. As you think about your life after graduation, as you look into the mirror tonight after the partying is done, that shouldn’t get such a big cheer, you may look in the mirror tonight and you may see somebody who’s not really sure what to do with their lives. That’s what you may see, but a troubled child might look at you and see a mentor. A homebound senior citizen might see a lifeline. The folks at your local homeless shelter might see a friend. None of them care how much money is in your bank account, or whether you’re important at work, or whether you’re famous around town. They just know that you’re somebody who cares, somebody who makes a difference in their lives.”
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