Article written by Marina Tsipenyuk.
When Barack Obama was pronounced the winner of the 2008 presidential election, the world was energized with a new spirit of hope. Now, right at the dawn of inauguration day, we are seeking Obama in Spiderman comics and companies like are Pepsi modeling after Obama’s marketing campaign. It is the first time in my life that I have seen a political figure become such a celebrity!
There is no question that 2008 had been a revolutionary year in American politics. For the first time in this country’s existence we will see a black man, who won the election by a popular landslide, be the president of the most powerful country on earth. Judging by the extreme enthusiasm, America was clearly ready for this. And regardless of conflicting views on Obama’s liberalism, it is evident that this man is a great orator with an amazing ability to connect to listeners. His resume, too, is outstanding, boasting of experience and accomplishment in academia, writing, foreign affairs, civil rights, environmental awareness…etc. He is young, captivating, moral, and inherently motivating. Obama is the new face of America.
Americans… still believe in an America where anything’s possible – they just don’t think their leaders do. ~Barack Obama
9 Ways That ‘Yes We Can!’ Like Barack Obama
Barack Obama is a stand for…
1. Change By Us, For Us and Now
Why not us? Why not today? Why not now? Obama believes that those who seek change must be the initiators.
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
As we know, try all we may, we cannot change anyone but ourselves. This is the same with situations. Only we can act to change our circumstances. Procrastinating action with excuses is easy. If we desire to accomplish something great, then we must have a vision, and be that vision.
2. Constant and Never Ending Improvement
Although Obama recognizes how hard others have worked for this country, he believes that there is much more to improve. There is never an end to improvement.
It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.
No matter how good times may be, we can always aspire for an even better tomorrow. A black man will be president, but that does not mean that there is an end to racism. Jay-Z said “Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama ran so we can all fly.”, but even flying is a means to something bigger.
3. Rational Measures
Personal development aficionados sometimes plunge into action. We attempt to tackle happiness, jump out of our comfort zones, and wage magnificent wars against a slew of vengeful carbohydrates. And although extremes can be great, we must also make sure that our goals are well planned and rational.
I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.~Barack Obama
When a nation chooses to declare a war, Obama believes that this war should be well justified, as war can have huge implications on the nation and its citizens. As the Bush administration was declaring war on Iraq, which had soon become one of the most unpopular wars in history, Obama was pushing for anti-war rallies in his home state of Illinois. So what happened to the so-called weapons of mass destruction? We have not found any. We are now merely moderating someone else’s civil war.
America is a nation where any person, regardless of where they came from could freely practice religion, politics, trade, and love.
My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or blessed, believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. ~Barack Obama
As Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, my parents came to America to start a new life full of possibilities. In Kiev where my parents lived, no matter their merit, they could not attend good Universities. “Jew” was like a scar written on their passports. America has always been the land of opportunity, and it is very encouraging that a politician can so openly relate to this, himself.
5. Future Forecasts for Today’s Efforts
Obama recognizes that nothing comes from nothing, that we must win small battles today in order to prevent greater problems in the future.
Poorly secured nuclear material in the former Soviet Union, or secrets from a scientist in Pakistan could help build a bomb that detonates in Paris. The poppies in Afghanistan become the heroin in Berlin. The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow. ~Barack Obama
Any business owner or investor knows that it is extremely important to anticipate impending change before taking on projects. Bill Gates did not believe that the internet would become as ginormous an information medium as it has and had significantly lost on this bet. Owners of Blockbuster franchises may not have seen Netflix and HBO on demand revolutionizing where people get their movies. The government had not foreseen a global recession. Obama may have a lot on his hands right now, but he will work on it today for a better tomorrow.
6. Not taking Yourself Too Seriously
I kind of figured that anyone about to run a country would feel pretty important, but this “skinny guy from the South Side of Chicago with the funny name” was pleasantly surprised when he realized he was on high demand.
The fact that my 15 minutes of fame has extended a little longer than 15 minutes is somewhat surprising to me and completely baffling to my wife.~Barack Obama
When we take ourselves too seriously we are susceptible to a lot of insult. What I mean is that we perceive more as insult when, otherwise, it would be taken as light-hearted comments. When we take ourselves too seriously, we may also get more discouraged in the face of hardship because we would get hung up on our mistakes instead of coming up with solutions to the problem. Therefore, be conscious of what you worry about. Make sure it is worth it.
Obama focuses on what unites America and Americans, rather than their differences. The following was an excerpt from a speech that he delivered at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.
There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. 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
While this may not have always been a reality in America, and some of our forefathers wouldn’t necessarily agree, it is our ideal vision of America, and the dream that is slowly becoming a reality.
We do not need to be inherently perfect in order to perfect ourselves every day.
We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent. ~Barack Obama
As someone who has spent so much time on improving herself, it is a marvel to me how so many people are completely okay with being mediocre. Mediocrity does not save people from hunger. It does not cure diseases and it does not write glorious symphonies. We must internalize excellence and make it a part of our identity.
If there is one great opportunity for people today it is an abundance of resources. Before the internet, people had excuses when they had no way to find something out. Today, not only can we find answers to almost all of our questions, but we can expose ourselves to millions of people who are looking to build knowledge, skills, and social networks. Today, we have no excuse for why we can’t do something. This also means that we can take on social responsibility. The problem is that many people don’t have the drive to balance the available information.
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. ~Barack Obama
People can only tackle greatness when they set high standards for themselves and their lives.
Now, I ask you, what do you admire about Barack Obama and what can we learn from that?
Article written by Marina Tsipenyuk, a conscious thinker, singer, writer, and straight A student at Rutgers Business School for Finance.
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