January 7, 2017 9:34:54 am
First Lady Michelle Obama delivered an emotional speech on Friday asking “young people” of the nation to empower themselves with education rather than being afraid of “not belonging” in the country. The First Lady’s last formal speech at the 2017 School Counselor of the Year ceremony repeatedly stressed on the diversity of United States thereby giving a subtle message to the President-elect Donald Trump, who had earlier proposed building a wall along the border of Mexico and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country. Trump had also been the leader of a so-called birther movement that questioned whether President Obama, who was born in Hawaii, had been born in the United States.
In a passionate appeal to the youngsters of the country, Michelle asked them to believe in their own religious diversity. She also urged young Americans to fight for the future instead of fearing it. Post-elections, there had been a spurt in the number of hate attacks against the minorities in US triggering fear among many Americans. Michelle also addressed those fears in a subtle manner and thanked the people for “passion and dedication” to work the empowerment of the youngsters. “Being the First Lady has been the greatest honour of my life”, she said.
Here are 10 quotes from her speech:
— “This country belongs to the young people from every background and walk of life.”
— “If your family doesn’t have much money, I want you to remember that in this country plenty of us, including me and my husband, we started out with very little. But with a lot of hard work and good education, anything is possible. Even becoming the President.”
— “If you are a person of faith, know that religious diversity is a great American tradition, too … And whether you are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh – these religions are teaching our young people about justice and compassion and honesty.”
— “Our glorious diversity – our diversities of faiths and colors and creeds – that is not a threat to who we are, it makes us who we are.”
— “If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition: the infusion of new cultures, talents and ideas, generation after generation, that has made us the greatest country on earth.”
— “Young people here and the young people out there, do not let anyone make you feel like that you don’t matter or like you don’t have a place in our American story because you do. And you have a right to be exactly who you are. But this right isn’t just handed to you. This right has to be earned every single day. You cannot take your freedoms for granted. You have to do your part to preserve and protect those freedom.”
— “When you encounter obstacles, when you are struggling and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago: The power of hope. The belief that something better is always possible if you are willing to work for it and fight for it. It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has helped us to rise above the voices of doubt and division that we have faced in our own lives.”
— “Our hope is that if we work hard enough and believe in our selves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us.”
— “We should hope that when people see us for who we truly are , maybe they too would be inspired to rise to their best possible selves.”
— “So that’s my final message to young people as first lady. It is simple. I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong.”
— “Lead by example with hope, never fear. And know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.”
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