Thursday, May 14, 2009

President Obama Tells ASU Graduates There’s More to Do, to Learn, to Achieve

In his Commencement Speech to the Arizona State University graduates President Obama spoke of the need to keep on learning and achieving.

Here are some excerpts:

In all seriousness, I come here not to dispute the suggestion that I haven't yet achieved enough in my life. I come to embrace it; to heartily concur; to affirm that one's title, even a title like President, says very little about how well one's life has been led - and that no matter how much you've done, or how successful you've been, there's always more to do, more to learn, more to achieve.

And I want to say to you today, graduates, that despite having achieved a remarkable milestone, one that you and your families are rightfully proud of, you too cannot rest on your laurels. Your body of work is yet to come….

Just look to history. Thomas Paine was a failed corset maker, a failed teacher, and a failed tax collector before he made his mark on history with a little book called Common Sense that helped ignite a revolution.

Julia Child didn't publish her first cookbook until she was almost fifty, and Colonel Sanders didn't open up his first Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was in his sixties.

Winston Churchill was dismissed as little more than a has-been, who enjoyed scotch just a bit too much, before he took over as Prime Minister and saw Great Britain through its finest hour.

And no one thought a former football player stocking shelves at the local supermarket would return to the game he loved, become a Super Bowl MVP, and then come here to Arizona and lead your Cardinals to their first Super Bowl.

Each of them, at one point in their life, didn't have any title or much status to speak of. But they had a passion, a commitment to following that passion wherever it would lead, and to working hard every step along the way.

And that's not just how you'll ensure that your own life is well-lived. It's how you'll make a difference in the life of this nation.

To read the full script:
Obama ASU Speech, Huffington Post, 13 May 2009.

To listen and see Obama’s address:
Huffington Post, 13 May 2009.

More on Barack Obama
Story for the US President about Gatekeepers, SFS.
Barack Obama and the Empathetic Person, SFS.
Ben Okri on Obama the Speechmaker, SFS.
Obama Tells Story of Anne Nixon Cooper, SFS.
Obama’s Speech on Election Night, SFS.
Obama’s Tribute to His Grandmother, SFS.
Obama on the Cost and Struggle of Change, SFS.
Obama’s Tribute to His Grandmother (from book), SFS.
Obama Expresses Debt to Mother and His Humble Beginnings, SFS.
Al Gore on Obama’s Youthfulness, SFS.
Why We in the UAE and Arab World Like President Obama, ETE.

Obama Books
Reviewing The Audacity of Hope, RBM.
Reviewing Dreams of My Father, RBM.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: President Obama at ASU Commencement.