180+ Barack Obama Quotes That Show You What A Real President Is All About

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Barack Obama quotes that show you what a real president is all about. There are days when you need to read a few quotes to really understand the meaning of life. There are quotes that are spoken by many famous people from various backgrounds and professions and these will surely help you in many ways. There are so many Barack Obama quotes that can help you when you are tired of being in the same old rut, and all you need is a little push, a little inspiration and these quotes will give you just that. The internet is full of Barack Obama quotes that will make you look at life through new eyes.

Barack Obama was born on August 4, in the year, 1961 and he is a popular American politician and attorney who had been the 44th president of the United States from the year, 2009 till the year, 2017. Barack Obama had been a member of the Democratic Party; he had also been the very first African American who was elected as the President. Barack Obama had been a U.S. senator from Illinois from the year, 2005 till the year, 2008.

Barack Obama had been born in Honolulu, Hawaii. After he had completed his graduation from Columbia University in the year, 1983, Barack Obama had worked as a community organizer in Chicago. In the year, 1988, Barack Obama had enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he had become the very first black president of the Harvard Law Review. After Barack Obama had graduated, he had become a civil rights attorney and also an academic, and Barack Obama had taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from the year, 1992 till the year, 2004. Barack Obama had then represented the 13th district for three terms in the Illinois Senate from the year, 1997 till the year, 2004 when Barack Obama had run for the U.S. Senate. Barack Obama had then earned national attention in the year, 2004 with his March primary win. In the year, 2008, Barack Obama had been nominated for president one year after his campaign had started and after a primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama had been elected over Republican John McCain, and he had been inaugurated on January 20, in the year, 2009.

Many personalities across the world have spoken words of wisdom and these have become household quotes in schools and homes. Barack Obama quotes have helped many across the world who have been looking for inspiration. Barack Obama has surprised many across the world because of his high level of intellect and method of thinking.

Barack Obama has really been through a lot of hard situations in life and so, these quotes crop up from real life experiences. We have dug up these Barack Obama quotes from the depths of the internet and brought together the best of these sayings in a single article. This post is probably the biggest database of Barack Obama Sayings in a single place. These famous Barack Obama quotes have the power to change your life by giving a novel outlook about the way you observe different aspects of your life. Hence, these popular Barack Obama quotes should be read with caution and proper understanding of the context. Here are tons of Barack Obama quotes that will open a treasure chest of wisdom and experiences.

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“We are the change we have been waiting for.”

“In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.”

“A nation ringed by walls will only imprison itself.”

“Be conscious of God and speak always the truth,”

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

“Churches won’t work with you, though, just out of the goodness of their hearts. They’ll talk a good game-a sermon on Sunday, maybe, or a special offering for the homeless. But if push comes to show, they won’t really move unless you can show them how it’ll help them pay their heating bill.”

“And that’s the work of your generation. As long as more walls still stand…We’ll need more of you, young people, who imagine the world as it should be; who knock down walls; who knock down barriers; who imagine something different and have the courage to make it happen. The courage to bring communities together, to make even the small impossibilities a shining example of what is possible.”

“We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible.”

“we have been told we cannot do this by a coarse of sentence: it will only grow louder and more dissident. we have been asked to pause for a reality check, we have been warned about offering this nation false hope, but in the unlikely story that is america there has never been anything false about hope.

nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change

the hopes of little girl who goes to a public school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of a little boy who learns on the streets of L.A. We will remember that there is something happening in America, that we are not as devided as our politics suggest, that we are one people, we are one nation and together we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast, from sea to shining sea: YES WE CAN!

yes we can to justice and equality

yes we can to oppurtunity and prosperity”

“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.”

“When I think about how I understand my role as citizen, setting aside being president, and the most important set of understandings that I bring to that position of citizen, the most important stuff I’ve learned I think I’ve learned from novels. It has to do with empathy. It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of grays, but there’s still truth there to be found, and that you have to strive for that and work for that. And the notion that it’s possible to connect with some[one] else even though they’re very different from you.”

“We went down into the dungeons where the captives were held. There was a church above one of the dungeons — which tells you something about saying one thing and doing another. (Applause.) I was — we walked through the “Door Of No Return.” I was reminded of all the pain and all the hardships, all the injustices and all the indignities on the voyage from slavery to freedom.”

“Let us keep that promise – that American promise – and in the words of Scripture — hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.”

“Life doesn’t count for much unless you’re willing to do your small part to leave our children – all of our children – a better world. Even if it’s difficult. Even if the work seems great. Even if we don’t get very far in our lifetime.”

“A healthy, dose of guilt never hurt anybody. It’s what civilization was built on, guilt. A highly underrated emotion.”

“A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.”

“Semakin aku mengenal sistem, semakin aku yakin bahwa reformasi pendidikan adalah satu-satunya solusi bagi remaja bermasalah di luar sana. Tanpa keluarga yang stabil, tanpa prospek mendapatkan pekerjaan bergengsi yang akan membantu keuangan keluarga, pendidikan adalah harapan terbesar mereka.”

“I like being president because i get a cool house”

“Everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma. They end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs when, if you, they just gave, you gave, treatment early, and they got some treatment, and uhhh a breathalyzer, or uhh, an inhalator, not a breathalyzer…”

“We have no authoritative figure, no Walter Cronkite or Edward R. Murrow whom we all listen to and trust to sort out contradictory claims. Instead, the media is splintered into a thousand fragments, each with its own version of reality, each claiming the loyalty of a splintered nation.”

“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.”

“More than anything, it is that sense – that despite great differences in wealth, we rise and fall together – that we can’t afford to lose.”

“The absence of even rough agreement on the facts puts every opinion on equal footing and therefore eliminates the basis for thoughtful compromise. It rewards not those who are right, but those – like the White House press office – who can make their arguments most loudly, most frequently, most obstinately, and with the best backdrop.”

“Kita menganggap keimanan sebagai sumber kenyamanan dan pemahaman, tetapi mendapati ekspresi kita akan hal itu justru menyebarkan perpecahan. Kita percaya, diri kita adalah orang-orang yang toleran meskipun berbagai ketegangan rasial, agama, dan kultural mencemari lanskap kehidupan kita. Dan alih-alih berusaha menyelesaikan atau memediasi konflik ini, politik kita justru mengipasinya, mengeksploitasinya, dan menjadikan kita terpecah-belah.”

“Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.”

“?Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let’s offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility: To teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren’t helping kids learn.”

“And where we are met with cynicism and doubt and fear and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of the American people in three simple words -yes, we can.”

“What I would say to my successor is that it is important not just to shoot but to aim”

“I’ve been fighting with Acorn, alongside Acorn, on issues you care about, my entire career.”

“This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
It is that American spirit – that American promise – that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend”

“It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.”

“All of us – we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”

“But whenever I tried to pin down this idea of self-esteem, the specific qualities we hoped to inculcate, the specific means by which we might feel good about ourselves, the conversation always seemed to follow a path of infinite regress. Did you dislike yourself because of your color or because you couldn’t read and couldn’t get a job? Or perhaps it was because you were unloved as a child—only, were you unloved because you were too dark? Or too light? Or because your mother shot heroin into her veins … and why did she do that anyway? Was the sense of emptiness you felt a consequence of kinky hair or the fact that your apartment had no heat and no decent furniture? Or was it because deep down you imagined a godless universe? Maybe one couldn’t avoid such questions on the road to personal salvation. What I doubted was that all the talk about self-esteem could serve as the centerpiece of an effective black politics. It demanded too much honest self-reckoning from people; without such honesty, it easily degenerated into vague exhortation. Perhaps with more self-esteem fewer blacks would be poor, I thought to myself, but I had no doubt that poverty did nothing for our self-esteem. Better to concentrate on the things we might all agree on. Give that black man some tangible skills and a job. Teach that black child reading and arithmetic in a safe, well-funded school. With the basics taken care of, each of us could search for our own sense of self-worth.”

“the words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms…”

“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.”

“It’s in the misery of some unnamed slum that the next killer virus will emerge.”

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

“Change has come!”

“In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?”

“it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight!”

“When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point.”

“Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted.”

“I thought I could start over, you see. But now I know you can never start over. Not really. You think you have control, but you are like a fly in somebody else’s web. Sometimes I think that’s why I like accounting. All day, you are only dealing with numbers. You add them, multiply them, and if you are careful, you will always have a solution. There’s a sequence there. An order. With numbers, you can have control….”

“Words do inspire. ”

“If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.”

“It was as if he had come to mistrust words somehow. Words, and the sentiments words carried.”

“And that, I suppose, is what I’d been trying to tell my mother that day: that her faith in justice and rationality was misplaced, that we couldn’t overcome after all, that all the education and good intentions in the world couldn’t help you plug up the holes in the universe or give you the power to change its blind, mindless course.”

“In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor — who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.”

“The public school system is not about educating black children. Never has been. Inner-city schools are about social control. Period. They’re operated as holding pens—miniature jails, really. It’s only when black children start breaking out of their pens and bothering white people that society even pays any attention to the issue of whether these children are being educated.”

“all the education and good intentions in the world couldn’t help plug up the holes in the universe or give you the power to change its blind, mindless course.”

“I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington . . . I’m asking you to believe in yours.”

Keeping faith with those who serve must always be a core American value and a cornerstone of American patriotism. Because America’s commitment to its servicemen and women begins at enlistment, and it must never end.”

“I began feeling the way I imagine an actor or athlete must feel when, after years of commitment to a particular dream…he realizes that he’s gone just about as far as talent or fortune will take him. The dream will not happen, and he now faces the choice of accepting this fact like a grownup and moving on to more sensible pursuits, or refusing the truth and ending up bitter, quarrelsome, and slightly pathetic. ”

“America is big enough to accommodate all their dreams.”

“Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land: enough! This moment, this election is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On Nov. 4, we must stand up and say: “Eight is enough.”

“And it’s safe to assume that those in power would think longer and harder about launching a war if they envisioned their own sons and daughters in harm’s way.”

“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.”

“Better to be strong,’ he [Lolo] said…’if you can’t be strong, be clever and make peace with someone who’s strong. But always better to be strong yourself.”

“Where there is no experience the wise man is silent.”

“This pleased Onyango, for to him knowledge was the source of all the white man’s power, and he wanted to make sure that his son was as educated as any white man.”

“And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.”

“We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”

“Although the principle of equality has always been self-evident, it has never been self-executing.”

“We’re never so outraged as when a cabbie drives past us or the woman in the elevator clutches her purse, not so much because we’re bothered by the fact that such indignities are what less fortunate coloreds have to put up with every single day of their lives—although that’s what we tell ourselves—but because we’re wearing a Brooks Brothers suit and speak impeccable English and yet have somehow been mistaken for an ordinary nigger.”

“The title of Reverend Wright’s sermon that morning was “The Audacity of Hope.”
? Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

“Reading is important. If you know how to read then the whole world opens up to you”

“When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that, in our democracy, government is us.”

“You could see a man talking to himself as just plain crazy, or read about the criminal on the front page of the daily paper and ponder the corruption of the human heart, without having to think about whether the criminal or lunatic said something about your own fate.”

“Over the last fifteen months we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been to fifty-seven states. I think, one left to go.”

“I realized that in some unspoken, still tentative way, she and I were already becoming a family.”

“Five days a week, she came into my room at four in the morning, force-fed me breakfast, and proceeded to teach me my English lessons for three hours before I left for school and she went to work.”

“Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.”

“A Disavowal of the pursuit of Middleclassness’, the heading read. While it is permissible to chase ‘middleincomeness’ with all our might, the text stated, those blessed with the talent or good fortune to achieve success in the American mainstream must avoid the psychological entrapment of Black ‘middleclassness’ that hypnotizes the successful brother or sister into believing they are better than the rest and teaches them to think in terms of ‘we’ and ‘they’ instead of ‘US’!”

“To be black was to be the beneficiary of a great inheritance, a special destiny, glorious burdens that only we were strong enough to bear.”
? Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

“We are a people of improbable hope.”

“I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.”

“That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.”

“What I could not support was “a dumb war, a rash war, a war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics”.”

“I will cut taxes – cut taxes – for 95 percent of all working families, because, in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class.”

“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost; a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”

“At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It insists on the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God’s edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one’s life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime; to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.”

“It was like – It was like Special Olympics or something.”

“Change won’t come from the top, Change will come from mobilized grassroots.”

“We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.”

“Our values call upon us to care about the lives of people we will never meet.”

“But for a younger generation of conservative operatives who would soon rise to power… They were true believers who meant what they said, whether it was ‘No New Taxes’ or ‘We are a Christian Nation.’ In fact, with their rigid doctrines, slash-and-burn style, and exaggerated sense of having been aggrieved, this new conservative leadership was eerily reminiscent of some of the New Left’s leaders during the sixties. As with their left-wing counterparts, this new vanguard of the right viewed politics as a contest not just between competing policy visions, but between good and evil. Activists in both parties began developing litmus tests, checklists of orthodoxy, leaving a Democrat who questioned abortion increasingly lonely, any Republican who championed gun control effectively marooned. In this Manichean struggle, compromise came to look like weakness, to be punished or purged. You were with us or you were against us. You had to choose sides.”

“Religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.”

“doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.”

“No, what’s troubling is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics–the ease with which we are distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our seeming inability to build a working concensus to tackle any big problem.”

“What matters is how well we have loved.”

“the big house and the nice suits and the other things that our money culture says you should buy … betrays a poverty of ambition.”

“I’m inspired by the people I meet in my travels–hearing their stories, seeing the hardships they overcome, their fundamental optimism and decency. I’m inspired by the love people have for their children. And I’m inspired by my own children, how full they make my heart. They make me want to work to make the world a little bit better. And they make me want to be a better man.”

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”

“If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription, who has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer – even if it’s not my grandparent. If there’s an Arab-American or Mexican-American family being rounded up by John Ashcroft without benefit of an attorney or due process, I know that that threatens my civil liberties. And I don’t have to be a woman to be concerned that the Supreme Court is trying to take away a woman’s right, because I know that my rights are next. It is that fundamental belief – I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper – that makes this country work.”

“There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America – there’s the United States of America.”

“We don’t ask you to believe in our ability to bring change, rather, we ask you to believe in yours.”

“One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.”

“I believe in evolution, scientific inquiry, and global warming; I believe in free speech, whether politically correct or politically incorrect, and I am suspicious of using government to impose anybody’s religious beliefs -including my own- on nonbelievers.”

“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.”

“What I’ve realized is that life doesn’t count for much unless you’re willing to do your small part to leave our children — all of our children — a better world. Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.”

“No, you can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your ‘religious freedom’. If you don’t like birth control, don’t use it. Religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.”

“Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.”

“it’s important to make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”

“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. it’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”

“Why can’t I just eat my waffle?”

“Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”

“I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.”

“Our stories may be singular, but our destination is shared.”

“The worst thing that colonialism did was to cloud our view of our past.”

“You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.”

“More than a building that houses books and data, the library has always been a window to a larger world–a place where we’ve always come to discover big ideas and profound concepts that help move the American story forward. . . . .

Libraries remind us that truth isn’t about who yells the loudest, but who has the right information. Because even as we’re the most religious of people, America’s innovative genius has always been preserved because we also have a deep faith in facts.

And so the moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold into a library, we’ve changed their lives forever, and for the better. This is an enormous force for good.”

“While we breathe, we will hope.”

“No one is pro-abortion. ”

“You can’t let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.”

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

tags: determination, helping-others, hope, initiative, just-do-it, proactivity, service, volunteerism, work 2333 likes Like
“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

“Yes We Can!”

“We are the change we have been waiting for.”

“In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”

“In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.”

“I’m inspired by the people I meet in my travels–hearing their stories, seeing the hardships they overcome, their fundamental optimism and decency. I’m inspired by the love people have for their children. And I’m inspired by my own children, how full they make my heart. They make me want to work to make the world a little bit better. And they make me want to be a better man.”

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”

“If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription, who has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer – even if it’s not my grandparent. If there’s an Arab-American or Mexican-American family being rounded up by John Ashcroft without benefit of an attorney or due process, I know that that threatens my civil liberties. And I don’t have to be a woman to be concerned that the Supreme Court is trying to take away a woman’s right, because I know that my rights are next. It is that fundamental belief – I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper – that makes this country work.”

“There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America – there’s the United States of America.”

“We don’t ask you to believe in our ability to bring change, rather, we ask you to believe in yours.”

“One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.”

“I believe in evolution, scientific inquiry, and global warming; I believe in free speech, whether politically correct or politically incorrect, and I am suspicious of using government to impose anybody’s religious beliefs -including my own- on nonbelievers.”

“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.”

“What I’ve realized is that life doesn’t count for much unless you’re willing to do your small part to leave our children — all of our children — a better world. Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.”

“No, you can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your ‘religious freedom’. If you don’t like birth control, don’t use it. Religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.”

“Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.”

“it’s important to make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”

“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. it’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”

“Why can’t I just eat my waffle?”

“Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”

“I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.”

“Our stories may be singular, but our destination is shared.”

“The worst thing that colonialism did was to cloud our view of our past.”

“You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.”

“More than a building that houses books and data, the library has always been a window to a larger world–a place where we’ve always come to discover big ideas and profound concepts that help move the American story forward. . . . .
Libraries remind us that truth isn’t about who yells the loudest, but who has the right information. Because even as we’re the most religious of people, America’s innovative genius has always been preserved because we also have a deep faith in facts.
And so the moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold into a library, we’ve changed their lives forever, and for the better. This is an enormous force for good.”

“While we breathe, we will hope.”

“No one is pro-abortion. ”

“You can’t let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.”

“You know, sometimes I’ll go to an 8th-grade graduation and there’s all that pomp and circumstance and gowns and flowers. And I think to myself, it’s just 8th grade … An 8th-grade education doesn’t cut it today. Let’s give them a handshake and tell them to get their butts back in the library!”

“But you see, a rich country like America can perhaps afford to be stupid.”

“At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better”

“Each of us deserves the freedom to pursue our own version of happiness. No one deserves to be bullied.”

“What Washington Needs is Adult Supervision.”

“I confess to wincing every so often at a poorly chosen word, a mangled sentence, an expression of emotion that seems indulgent or overly practiced. I have the urge to cut the book by fifty pages or so, possessed as I am with a keener appreciation for brevity.”

“We hang on to our values, even if they seem at times tarnished and worn; even if, as a nation and in our own lives, we have betrayed them more often that we care to remember. What else is there to guide us? Those values are our inheritance, what makes us who we are as a people. And although we recognize that they are subject to challenge, can be poked and prodded and debunked and turned inside out bu intellectuals and cultural critics, they have proven to be both surprisingly durable and surprisingly constant across classes, and races, and faiths, and generations. We can make claims on their behalf, so long as we understand that our values must be tested against fact and experience, so long as we recall that they demand deeds and not just words.”

“I think perhaps education doesn’t do us much good unless it is mixed with sweat.”

“My little girls can break my heart. They can make me cry just looking at them eating their string beans.”

“We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics…they will only grow louder and more dissonant ……….. We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”

“Each path to knowledge involves different rules and these rules are not interchangeable.”

“We may come from different places and have different stories, but we share common hopes, and one very American dream.”

“Let me tell your something. I’m from Chicago. I don’t break.”

“How does the saying go? When two locusts fight, it is always the crow that feasts.’
Is that a Luo expression?’ I asked. Sayid’s face broke into a bashful smile.
We have a similar expression in Luo,’ he said, ‘but actually I must admit that I read this particular expression in a book by Chinua Achebe. The Nigerian writer. I like his books very much. He speaks the truth about Africa’s predicament. the Nigerian, the Kenya – it is the same. We share more than divides us.”

“That’s what the leadership was teaching me, day by day: that the self-interest I was supposed to be looking for extended well beyond the immediacy of issues, that beneath the small talk and sketchy biographies and received opinions, people carried with them some central explanation of themselves. Stories full of terror and wonder, studded with events that still haunted or inspired them. Sacred stories. ”

“faith doesn’t mean that you don’t have doubts… [you] still experience the same greed, resentment, lust, and anger that everyone else experienced… the lines between sinner and saved [are] more fluid; the sins of those who come to church are not so different from the sins of those who don’t… You [need] to come to church precisely because you [are] of this world, not apart from it; rich, poor, sinner, saved you [need] to embrace Christ precisely because you had sins to wash away… that religious commitment did not require me to suspend critical thinking, disengage from the battle for economic and social justice, or otherwise retreat from the world…”

“Here’s the truth: the Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear weapons, and Iran doesn’t have a single one. But when the world was on the brink of nuclear holocaust, Kennedy talked to Khrushchev and he got those missiles out of Cuba. Why shouldn’t we have the same courage and the confidence to talk to our enemies? That’s what strong countries do, that’s what strong presidents do, that’s what I’ll do when I’m president of the United States of America.”

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.”

“The best anti-poverty program is a world-class education.”

“And then, on September 11, the world fractured.
It’s beyond my skill as a writer to capture that day and the days that would follow–the planes, like specters, vanishing into steel and glass; the slow-motion cascade of the towers crumbling into themselves; the ash-covered figures wandering the streets; the anguish and the fear. Nor do I pretend to understand the stark nihilism that drove the terrorists that day and that drives their brethren still. My powers of empathy, my ability to reach into another’s heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those would murder innocents with abstract, serene satisfaction.”

“I’ve got daughters. Nine years old and six years old. First of all, I’m gonna teach them about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them PUNISHED with a baby.”

“This shit would be really interesting if we weren’t in the middle of it.”

“I have seen, the desperation and disorder of the powerless: how it twists the lives of children on the streets of Jakarta or Nairobi in much the same way as it does the lives of children on Chicago’s South Side, how narrow the path is for them between humiliation and untrammeled fury, how easily they slip into violence and despair. I know that the response of the powerful to this disorder — alternating as it does between a dull complacency and, when the disorder spills out of its proscribed confines, a steady, unthinking application of force, of longer prison sentences and more sophisticated military hardware — is inadequate to the task. I know that the hardening of lines, the embrace of fundamentalism and tribe, dooms us all.”

“It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballot; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountain top and pointed the way to the Promised Land.
Yes we can!”

“I kept finding the same anguish, the same doubt; a self-contempt that neither irony nor intellect seemed able to deflect. Even DuBois’s learning and Baldwin’s love and Langston’s humor eventually succumbed to its corrosive force, each man finally forced to doubt art’s redemptive power, each man finally forced to withdraw, one to Africa, one to Europe, one deeper into the bowels of Harlem, but all of them in the same weary flight, all of them exhausted, bitter men, the devil at their heels.”

“It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

“perhaps I possess a certain Midwestern sensibility that I inherited from my mother and her parents, a sensibility that Warren Buffet seems to share: that at a certain point one has enough, that you can derive as much pleasure from a Picasso hanging in a museum as from one that’s hanging in your den, that you can get an awfully good meal in a restaurant for less than twenty dollars, and that once your drapes cost more than the average American’s yearly salary, then you can afford to pay a bit more in taxes.”

“Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns in to universal, rather than religion-specific, values… it requires that their proposals be subject to argument and amenable to reason.

Now I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, to take one example, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”

“The emotions between the races could never be pure; even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race would always remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart.”

“make away out of no way”

“There’s nobody to guide through the process of becoming a man… to explain to them the meaning of manhood. And that’s a recipe for disaster.”

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

 

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