In a couple of hours, 44th U.S. President, Barack Obama will be delivering his farewell speech in Chicago, “where it all started” for the first African America president of the country.
Selecting quotes from a man regarded as one of the greatest orators in history, can be a daunting task.
Here we have 8 inspiring and thought-provoking quotes to represent his 8 years in office.
1. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
2. What the American people hope -– what they deserve -– is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences; to overcome the numbing weight of our politics. For while the people who sent us here have different backgrounds, different stories, different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same. The aspirations they hold are shared: a job that pays the bills; a chance to get ahead; most of all, the ability to give their children a better life.
3. We’ve got some enormous challenges out there…. And I am confident that the American people and America’s political leaders can come together in a bipartisan way and solve these problems. We always have. But we’re not going to be able to do it if we are distracted. We’re not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other. We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts. We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.
4. 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.
5. Those of us who have the privilege to serve this country have an obligation to do our job as best we can. We come from different parties, but we are Americans first. And that’s why disagreement cannot mean dysfunction. It can’t degenerate into hatred. The American people’s hopes and dreams are what matters, not ours. Our obligations are to them. Our regard for them compels us all, Democrats and Republicans, to cooperate, and compromise, and act in the best interests of our nation –- one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
6. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help… Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
7. 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.’
8. We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.
The speech will be broadcast live on the White House Facebook Page by 9PM ET (3AM Nigerian Time).
Photo Credit: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images