Tuesday, September 8, 2009

From the president, to schoolchildren

From the prepared text of President Obama’s address to schoolchildren:

No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust — a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor — and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.

And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you — don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
Read the whole piece, and imagine being a young person and listening to a grown-up talk to you with such unalloyed honesty and hope.

President Obama’s address to schoolchildren (whitehouse.gov)

comments: 4

David said...

too bad so many kids won't hear him because their parents objected.

Anonymous said...

My school system refused to let students watch it. That kind of reaction to an inspirational speech that so many students badly need to hear makes me very sad.

Michael Leddy said...

I learned early this evening that the schools in my town were excusing students from watching and listening. Disgraceful, says I.

macon d said...

I saw a bunch of strange-looking kids wandering past my house this evening . . .