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Get inspired by 36 quotes from President Barack Obama

The 44th president of the United States and the first African-American to hold the office, Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961, and he is the first president born outside of the United States continent.  Obama was a community organizer, a civil rights attorney and a teacher before pursing a career in politics. In honor of Obama's 55th birthday, we share 36 inspiring quotes from the POTUS himself:

 

On change:

On change:
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"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."

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

"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."

 

On perseverance:

On perseverance:
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"If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress."

"The future rewards those who press on. I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. I don't have time to complain. I'm going to press on."

 

On failures:

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

 

On the importance of hard work:

"We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don’t want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential."

"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."

 

On our convictions:

On our convictions:
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"If we aren't willing to pay a price for our values then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all."

"We don't ask you to believe in our ability to bring change, rather, we ask you to believe in yours."

On taking actions:

On taking actions:
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"Where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up."

"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."

"We are the change we have been waiting for."

 

On aspirations:

"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."

"Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential."

"We must carry forward the work of the women who came before us and ensure our daughters have no limits on their dreams, no obstacles to their achievements and no remaining ceilings to shatter."

 

On equality:

"America is not a place where chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. And that is why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them."

"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."

 

On relationships:

On relationships:
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"Sometimes, when we're lying together, I look at her and I feel dizzy with the realization that here is another distinct person from me, who has memories, origins, thoughts, feelings that are different from my own. That tension between familiarity and mystery meshes something strong between us. Even if one builds a life together based on trust, attentiveness and mutual support, I think that's it's important that a partner continues to surprise."

 

On leaving a legacy:

On leaving a legacy:
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"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."

 

On meaningful communication:

"It's important to make sure that we're talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds."

 

On trust:

"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."

 

On cynicism:

"Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom."

 

On war:

"I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war."

 

On peace:

"Peace is note merely the absence of visible conflict."

 

On religious beliefs:

"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."

"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."

 

On politics:

"We think of faith as a source of comfort and understanding but find our expressions of faith sowing division; we believe ourselves to be a tolerant people even as racial, religious, and cultural tensions roil the landscape. And instead of resolving these tensions or mediating these conflicts, our politics fans them, exploits them,and drives us further apart."

 

On the election:

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

 

On hope:

On hope:
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"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."

"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."

"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."

 

On unity:

"I don't care whether you're driving a hybrid or an SUV. If you're headed for a cliff, you have to change direction."

"There's not a liberal America and a conservative America - there's the United States of America."

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

 

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It doesn't matter how I begin my poems because by the end they are all about you

It doesn't matter how I begin my poems because by  the end they are all about you

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious

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