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8 Quotes From Obama's Farewell Address That Give Me Hope as a Special Needs Parent


January was a busy month for politics. We watched former President Obama say farewell, Donald Trump take office, millions of women march and rally, and we watched a nation in political tension.

As I scrolled through my political newsfeed tonight, I came across President Obama’s farewell speech and read it from a different perspective. I read it as a special needs mom looking for hope, searching for encouragement, and needing reassurance.

Here are eight quotes to remind others to embrace differences, accept others, be an advocate, and believe you can make the world a better place. Thank you, President Obama.

1. “For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all and not just some.”

2. Quoting Atticus Finch, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

3. “Change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.”

4. “Democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity. The idea that, for all our outward differences, we are all in this together; that we rise or fall as one.”

5. “We need to uphold laws against discrimination… But laws alone won’t be enough. Hearts must change.”

6. “If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing.”

7. “Sometimes you’ll win. Sometimes you’ll lose. Presuming a reservoir of goodness in other people, that can be a risk. And there will be times when the process will disappoint you.”

8. “I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours.”

Editor’s note: This story reflects an individual’s experience and is not an endorsement from The Mighty. We believe in sharing a variety of perspectives from our community.

Image via Wikimedia Commons / The White House.

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