Barack Obama Quotes

In class we:

  • reviewed the writing process: Brainstorm, Plan, Write Rough Draft, Proof/edit, Write final draft.
  • explained what needed to be turned in: Rough Draft that has been visibly proofed/edited, and a final draft
  • went over some of the quotes
  • began the writing process for the assignement below

Below you will find some inspirational Barack Obama quotes. Your task is to choose two to three quotes, and write about them using as many examples from what you see in your own life (as many as possible) as it has been in the past, as it is now, and as you predict it may be in the future. Your essay should be about 1.5 pages in length. In your essay, be sure to explain the quotes, what they mean, and what they mean for you.

  • 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.
    Barack Obama
  • There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.
    Barack Obama
  • 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.
    Barack Obama
  • We have to acknowledge the progress we made, but understand that we still have a long way to go. That things are better, but still not good enough.
    Barack Obama
  • Americans…still believe in an America where anything’s possible — they just don’t think their leaders do.
    Barack Obama
  • If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.
    Barack Obama
  • Hope – Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!  …A belief in things not seen.  A belief that there are better days ahead.
    Barack Obama
  • 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.
    Barack Obama
  • In the end, no amount of American forces can solve the political differences that lie at the heart of somebody else’s civil war.
    Barack Obama
  • The true test of the American ideal is whether we’re able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time. Whether we allow ourselves to be shaped by events and history, or whether we act to shape them.
    Barack Obama
  • America is a land of big dreamers and big hopes. It is this hope that has sustained us through revolution and civil war, depression and world war, a struggle for civil and social rights and the brink of nuclear crisis. And it is because our dreamers dreamed that we have emerged from each challenge more united, more prosperous, and more admired than before.
    Barack Obama
  • I always believe that ultimately, if people are paying attention, then we get good government and good leadership. And when we get lazy, as a democracy and civically start taking shortcuts, then it results in bad government and politics.
    Barack Obama
  • When people are judged by merit, not connections, then the best and brightest can lead the country, people will work hard, and the entire economy will grow – everyone will benefit and more resources will be available for all, not just select groups.
    Barack Obama
  • You know, there’s a lot of talk in this country about the federal deficit. But I think we should talk more about our empathy deficit – the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes; to see the world through the eyes of those who are different from us – the child who’s hungry, the steelworker who’s been laid-off, the family who lost the entire life they built together when the storm came to town. When you think like this – when you choose to broaden your ambit of concern and empathize with the plight of others, whether they are close friends or distant strangers – it becomes harder not to act; harder not to help.
    Barack Obama
  • It’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.
    Barack Obama
  • 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.
    Barack Obama
  • We have a stake in one another … what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart, and … if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done for the people with whom we share this Earth.
    Barack Obama
  • 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.
    Barack Obama
  • That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams of its people, the insistence on small miracles. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door.
    Barack Obama
  • Our goal is to have a country that’s not divided by race.
    Barack Obama
  • 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.
    Barack Obama
  • 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.
    Barack Obama
  • Yes, our greatness as a nation has depended on individual initiative, on a belief in the free market. But it has also depended on our sense of mutual regard for each other, of mutual responsibility. The idea that everybody has a stake in the country, that we’re all in it together and everybody’s got a shot at opportunity. Americans know this. We know that government can’t solve all our problems – and we don’t want it to. But we also know that there are some things we can’t do on our own. We know that there are some things we do better together.
    Barack Obama
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