Two days before the inauguration in 2009, PARADE published a letter from Barack Obama to his daughters about what he hoped for them and all the children of America. And on Father’s Day last year, PARADE asked the President to reflect on what fatherhood meant to him. This year, since he could not be at every high school and college commencement, PARADE asked the President what message he’d like to impart to all the graduates in the Class of 2010 in the U.S. Here is an excerpt of the original piece written by President Obama, which appears in full in this Sunday’s issue of PARADE:"'A Message to the Class of 2010," by President Barack Obama":
That is your charge as graduates—our future is in your hands. The United States is still a land of infinite possibilities waiting to be seized, if you are willing to seize them.RELATED: At Weasel Zippers, on the president's Michigan Commencement, "Obama Knocks Fox . . ‘Debate Over More Or Less Gov’t Doesn’t Fit Our Times’ . . . Says He’s Trying To Bring Civility To Politics." (Full text is here, "Remarks by the President at University of Michigan Spring Commencement.")
While government plays a role in making a more prosperous and secure future possible for America, the final outcome ultimately depends on you and the choices you make from here on out.
Of course, each of you has the right to take your diploma and seek the quickest path to the biggest paycheck or the highest title possible. But remember: You can choose to broaden your concerns to include your fellow citizens and country instead. By tying your ambitions to America’s, you’ll hitch your wagon to a cause larger than yourself. You can choose a career in public service or the nonprofit sector, or teach in an underserved school ....
When I left for Chicago after college to be a community organizer, I, like many of you, had no idea what the future would hold for me. What I did know was that somehow, in some way, I wanted to make an impact on the world around me.