The name of Barack Obama has been widely known to the world for some years now . A lawyer and politician of the Democratic Party, he rose in politics to become a senator for the Democratic Party and finally managed in 2008 to become the first African-American president in the history of the United States of America.
Apart from his role as President of the United States and the multiple policies and initiatives he has promoted (having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize), he is known for being a great speaker, who throughout his career has made interesting reflections on various topics such as equality or care for nature.
In this article we will see some of Barack Obama’s phrases that reflect these reflections .
A series of phrases and reflections by Barack Obama
The following are some of the phrases that the forty-fourth president of the United States has uttered throughout his speeches.
1. Yes, we can
This well-known phrase, popularized during the election campaign that would lead to his first election as president, reflects that change is possible and achievable.
2. If you are willing to work hard and fulfill your responsibilities, you can get ahead. It doesn’t matter where you come from, how you look or who you love.
This sentence encourages us to be responsible for our own destiny and to work hard to achieve our goals . We should all have the same opportunities and rights regardless of our sex, race, sexual orientation, creed, socio-economic status or appearance.
3. Our children will not have time to discuss climate change. They will only be able to live with its effects
These phrases warn of the need to take into account the conservation of the environment before it is too late.
4. Most problems I face sometimes involve a clash, not between good and evil, sometimes between two ways of understanding good
Often the existence of conflicts is due to the incompatibility of what two parties consider to be good. It is not that one of them intends to do evil.
5. If you are successful, not only your countries are successful, the world is successful
Trying to achieve our dreams and ideals not only has a positive effect on us and our environment but generally benefits everyone.
6. Not talking to other countries doesn’t make us look tough; it makes us look arrogant
Communication and collaborative work allows us to develop and grow. Acting alone and refusing to communicate with others only limits us and makes others not look at us with sympathy.
7. Hope is not blind optimism. It is not ignoring the enormous task ahead or the obstacles in our way.
To have hope is not to deny the difficulties, but to believe in spite of and above them.
8. A voice can change a room, and if it 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 can 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
Each and every act of each and every person can change the world. We are all valuable and can help the world get better.
9. We see the future not as something beyond our control, but as something we can shape to achieve something better through a concentrated and collective effort
This phrase induces us not to fear the unknown and to hope that we will be able to shape events in such a way that we will be able to evolve into something better.
10. It has always been the bold, the most active, the builders of things (some recognized but mostly men and women whose efforts remain in the dark) who have propelled us on the long and arduous path to prosperity and freedom
This statement invites us to think about the need and worth of those who have dared to fight for what they believed to be right.
11. The future holds something better for us, as long as we have the courage to keep trying, keep working, keep fighting
Again, this phrase encourages us not to lose heart and to continue to fight for our goals.
12. Progress will come in the form of adjustments and beginnings. It is not always a straight line, it is not always an easy road
We must bear in mind that we will not always be moving forward. Sometimes it is necessary to take a step back in order to take two steps forward, and it will never be easy to make progress.
13. No authoritarian regime lasts forever
Authoritarianism and absolutism sooner or later end.
14. Faith does not mean that I have no doubts
Doubting is not contrary to belief. In fact, doubt allows us to test our beliefs and values and either reinforce or modify them.
15. Peace is not only the absence of war, but also the presence of a better life
This sentence reflects that the absence of conflict alone is not enough to bring about peace.
16. Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy
There is nothing that is not achieved without effort and sacrifice, especially when we talk about the things that really matter to us.
17. History shows that the desire for freedom and human dignity cannot be denied forever
The need to be free and to be able to be who we are and fight for what we want ends up emerging regardless of whether censorship exists or not.
18. We have always understood that when times change we have to change ourselves
We must be able to adapt to the circumstances of a dynamic and changing world, or we will be stuck.
19. Change will not come if we wait for someone else or wait for another time. We are the ones we are waiting for. We are the change we want
Waiting for someone to fix things isn’t going to work. If we want things to change, we must participate and be part of the change.
20. I never rule out any possibility in such a complex world
We must be open to all possibilities so that we can act in the best possible way or be prepared for any eventuality.
21. Greatness is never a gift. It must be earned
If we want to develop to the fullest we must be able to strive and earn our way to our goals.
22. Those who stand up for justice always occupy the right side of history
Regardless of the opinion of the rest, whether or not it is the majority, we must fight for what we believe to be fair.
23. Know that your peoples will judge you by what you can build, not by what you can destroy
We must focus on building, on being a positive force for ourselves and for those around us.
24. As long as there are walls in our hearts, we should strive to tear them down
The existence of barriers and intolerance only generates suffering and conflict. If we want a better society we must learn to be tolerant and fight for equality.
25. No union based on freedom and equality can survive half slave and half free
This phrase refers to the need for the slavery and subjugation of the other to disappear if we are to have a truly equal and free society.
26. No matter how responsibly any of us live at any time, we can be laid off, suddenly sick, or have our house taken away by a terrible storm
Misfortunes happen , and they can happen to any of us regardless of how we are.
27. Cynics will have the loudest voice, but I assure you they will do the least
Those who merely criticize things may be numerous and largely visible, but when it comes down to it, they often do little to bring about real change.
28. We cannot confuse absolutism with principle, or substitute politics for entertainment, or treat insults as reasonable debate
These are very different concepts that unfortunately tend to be linked in practice, which we must not allow.
29. As for our common defence, we reject as false that a choice has to be made between our security and our ideals
It often seems to be thought that we must sacrifice our freedom if we are to gain security. This does not have to be the case.
30. Our multi-ethnic heritage is a strength, not a weakness
Sharing and relating to people from different cultures enriches us all and allows us to gain new and different perspectives on life, making us stronger and more adaptable.
31. Creating your brand in the world is difficult. If it were easy, everyone would do it, but it’s not. It requires patience, commitment and quite a few failures along the way
Making a mark and changing things means persisting and not giving up or stopping the struggle despite the failures.
32. We are freer when everyone can aspire to their own happiness. We need to have economies that work for all citizens, not just for those at the top
This sentence refers to the need to establish mechanisms that allow everyone in society to have access and the same rights and possibilities .
33. With hope and virtue, let us again brave the icy currents, and endure the storms that fall upon us
Again, we are urged to be able to resist in spite of the obstacles and difficulties.
34. The role of citizens in a democracy does not end with the vote
The citizen is part of society, and as such must be aware that he or she has both rights and responsibilities as a citizen.
35. Hope is that force within us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach out, work for it and fight for it
Having hope implies believing that we will be able to achieve what we want despite being aware of the difficulties.
36. There has always been another way of doing politics, based on the simple idea that what happens to our neighbor should not be indifferent to us, on the basic notion that what unites us is much more important than what separates us, and on the conviction that if enough people really believe in this and live according to these precepts, it is possible that even if we cannot solve all the problems, we can make progress in important things
The notion that we are all equal and must care about what happens to our fellow man is paramount if we are to overcome individuality and help our society grow.
37. I have learned that if a problem is easy, it should never come to my table
The problems that are really important are the ones we should be concerned about. Things that are easy to solve should not take longer than necessary.
38. All people should be treated equally, no matter who they are or who they love
We should all be treated equally.
39. We need to work together at the level of individuals, teachers, doctors, students, business people, religious leaders, all trying to promote values of dignity, humanity, respect, which are often threatened
We must all contribute to trying to improve the world .
40. Your generation will determine the course of our future, as individual nations and as a global community
The new generations are the ones who will inherit our legacy and build the future.