Sunday, January 18, 2009

Obama: What a sweet letter to Malia and Sasha!

I have now gone through all of Obama's great and inspiring speeches, but I have just discovered something even better than all of his speeches combined: his recent letter to his lovely daughters Malia and Sasha. Heartwarming words, and I must admit that I had to shed some tears while reading this. So here it comes:
Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.
When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me-about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential-schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college-even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country-but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free-that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.

That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better-and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It's a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much-although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you-to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.


Love, Dad

13 comments:

Mama said...

Wow! Obama is truly a great man and a wonderful father......I can totally identify with your shedding a tear for this.

Rafiki said...

@ Mama: Did you also shed one? Let's see if we can fill a bucket.

Shiko-Msa said...

Candidate for cloning. We need more Obamas.

Rafiki I didn't shed a tear but I feel the letter so much all the same.

Mama did you? Please say you did.

3toc said...

wow!

pink m said...

That is such a sweet address. When I grow up, I want such a dad :D

Rafiki said...

@ Shiko: Where will we get the DNA material to start the cloning process? "The President-elect will also have to get used to handing his glass to a Secret Service agent every time he has a drink outside the White House. The agent carries a small bag in which to pop the glass and later destroys it. The idea is to ensure that no unauthorised person has access to the Presidential DNA, but it is not clear how an enemy would use it," Sunday Mirror wrote of Obama’s changing life.
Sorry you didn't shed a tear, but I am glad to note that you have feelings. Any wet eyes?

@ 3toc: Any tears?

@ pink m: Do you really think you will ever grow up? lol

Shiko-Msa said...

Oh I see. Never heard of that glass popping process. The guy is sure protected.

I hope nobody cloned Bush.

You never know what an enemy would do with presidential DNA. Someone might bottle it and sell. Souvenir or something.

Let's watch more of 24 we might get a clue. Or West Wing if you can stand it.

val said...

This is so sweet..and inspiring at the same time..

Rafiki said...

@ Shiko: Of course we don't watch these things.

@ val: Any tears?

Shiko-Msa said...

aii Rafiki do you have another blog? On my side it seems you've already posted another article 'Inauguration Watch' - 7 hours ago. But it's not here. And then if I follow the link from my side it says 'Page Not Found'. What's up? Ebu try to follow your link from my blogroll.

Rafiki said...

@ Shiko: Sorry for the confusion darling. I have only one blog. The inauguration watch is now a widget on the right side of my blog.

Biche said...

Why does the world have access to this? Where was it printed?

Biche

Rafiki said...

@ Biche: Apparently, Obama shared this letter with Parade Magazine. I hope this family will still have some kind of private life the coming years.