I am tired of being afraid …

September 7, 2009 waterswife


I know some of you are already sick of me ranting about this on Facebook, but I just don’t get it! I understand not liking President Obama’s policies. I get that he scares people. I get that people don’t like the people he’s surrounded himself with. I get ALL of that. I haven’t been satisfied with a 100% of things that have happened policy-wise either.

I feel like we have become so afraid that we have made ourselves numb. We refuse to allow even the good things into our lives because it might be a little scary. This is coming from a girl who is scared of everything.

Ask my husband. I am scared to drive alone at night. I am scared of being home alone any time of the day. I almost refuse to grocery shop alone, because I am afraid. I hate living my life like this. I hated it so much, I even tried therapy. But the minute my therapist got too close for comfort, I quit going. BECAUSE I AM AFRAID!

This is my one trait that I pray my future children do not inherit fom me. Even more so than my bad skin, thin hair, and heaven forbit my obesity.

I am not trying to say that we should roll over and let our President keep spending us into even more debt. Or allowing this healthcare bill to pass with out researching it and giving our two cents. I think it is wonderful to question the policies and challege him. That is our right and duty as citizens.

I am talking about rejecting EVERYTHING that comes out of his mouth, because he is Barack Obama.

Some parents are upset because he is giving his EDUCATION speech during school hours and not at night. Why? This is not a speech for you. This is for the school-aged kids! Is he banning parents from hearing his words? Um, no. Last time I checked, you are welcome to go to class with your kids and hear it your self. I checked my DVR and it’s set to air on NATIONAL TELEVISION, and to stream live on the internet. Oh and looky here … the entire supposed speech is posted on the White House’s website.

Oh, I forgot. We need to be afraid of this. Because what if he doesn’t say this? Or what if he DOES say this, but he does that trick with his words where he sends out subliminal messages.

I am not trying to offend with this post. I just (even asking several of my friends for their feedback) just don’t get it. This is not something to be afraid of. Policies, bills, proposed new taxes … be afraid of that. That I get! But this? Wow. Heaven forbit that we all become motivated. After reading his speech, even I, the laziest person I know, am motivated.

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event

Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.
I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, “This is no picnic for me either, buster.”
So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.
Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.
So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.
Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.
And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.
Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.
That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work — that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
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.
The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.


Entry Filed under: aimee-isms, political, rants

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lisa (lost pezhead)&hellip  | 

    I read the speech and there is nothing wrong w/ it. it's great to tell kids all that stuff. i have a problem w/ the messenger. i don't like the church he went to for 20 yrs, i don't like his associations….when i read the Book of Mormon I wonder how many of us today might say, Oh Korihor (and those kind of people we read about in the scriptures) he says some crazy things, but he is a nice guy and fun to be around. It's the same thing. Anyone can make a great speach and sound good, it doesn't mean they are a good person, I think it would be ignorant for me to ignore the other facts I know.And I am not afraid of Obama or any liberal. I know I am right, so why would I be afraid. I am concerned w/ what they want to do to our country and that I don't think they uphold the Constitution. Yeah I listen to Glenn Beck, but I also read the Constitution, I read Thomas Paine's Common Sense, I read other history books about our Founders, and most importatnly I read the Book of Mormon. It's great to watch the current news, but unless you are reading history it is useless.I'm not arguing w/ you, i'm just letting you know my thoughts. I am smart enough to know I'm not going to convince anyone…it's just like the church people must want to know things for themselves and find the answers they seek. The same things could probably be said of McCain, Bush, and many other people…I don't think they are very conservative or good leaders either. This isn't about Obama it's about the whole government and how far off we are. I am VERY thankful Obama became Pres otherwise I and many others may never have woken up. we had 18,000 people on Sat at the Tea Party in OHIO! that is 8,000 more than the Aug tea party and 10,000 more than the party in Apr…we are growing and more people are realizing what is happening in this country. this Sat in DC there will be hundreds of thousands from across the counrty – watch Fox news Sat from 1-3!

  • 2. Christa&hellip  | 

    I completely agree with you Aimee!! I LOVED the speech!! Even if they add to this (or hopefully, not) take from it, I want my kids to hear these things!! If there's extra, we can talk about it when they get home!! But I did love it!! I'm so with you!! Thanks for your opinion! Do you know what time and the channel the speech will be airing on??

  • 3. Nesser&hellip  | 

    I still haven't read the whole text of the speech (just to be honest). I'll scroll up in a minute and read it. I have a couple of thoughts/issues on this. This is what I have come up with:1) The President is the PRESIDENT. I have taught my children to respect authority figures including all of their elders. This doesn't mean they can't question them, but they must show respect. There is just a way to go about it. 2) I trust that the speech is truly about education, and achieving the most that you can in life. Many Presidents have given similar speeches. I like the idea of someone who wasn't born with a silver spoon in their mouth illustrating the power of hard work. If however, it were to veer off that type of message, yes indeedy-doody I would have a problem with it.3) My preference is to watch all of these things WITH my children. Since I work, as many of us do, I can't go to school with them to watch. However, I can re-watch it with them after they've seen it and talk about their thoughts. One good thing about having the speech during school hours is that many of the kids that need to hear it most, don't have parents who would sit and watch with them on their own time. Heck, they don't even sit and watch cartoons with them. And, my biggest concern-4) I am not lying or exaggerating here when I say: Jacob may well get in trouble if they open it up for discussion. He makes even me look like a bloody liberal. Fortunately, we live in a red state, so odds are in our favor that his teacher will be pretty forgiving.Our schools sent home a note today that we can sign to allow our children to watch the speech in a special viewing on Friday. I'll let my boys watch it with their classmates, but we'll probably watch it at home too. That's my 2 cents. 🙂

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