The 2008 presidential election has been historic and exciting on many fronts. We have elected our first African-American President of the United States of America.
Whether one agrees with the politics or not, the meteorial rise of President-elect Obama is an interesting story in itself. This article is not about the man’s politics; it is about his story and ability to rise above some pretty difficult situations to achieve perhaps for many that unreachable goal – the President of the United States.
The story is clear about Obama’s meager beginnings: Raised by a single mother, from a poor family; on food stamps; experiencing divorce and remarriage of his mother; experiencing relocation from state to state and from country to country; new environments, new classmates, new cultures—all uncertainties of a child. The President-elect’s profile of his past is an awe-inspiring story, one that lends some source of hope and inspiration to many young people today.
The road that Obama chose to take to help make his dream come true is one of education and service to others.
He chose to stay in school, perfected his work, completed assignments and showed respect to all of his teachers and his parents. He graduated from high school with a scholarship to Columbia University in New York City. He was able to secure the scholarship because of his determination to do good work in class.
He did not settle for lesser classes or challenges. This approach followed him at Columbia University and then on to Harvard University, where he not only excelled in academics, but also became the editor of the Law Review at Harvard, an exceptional accomplishment. I, too realize that a good education is the way to achieve a better lifestyle. I would like to draw upon some of the tools that were used by Obama in his journey from poor boy to President.
Obama’s Tools for Success
Respect. Students must respect themselves and others.
Obedience. Students must obey parents and guardians, teachers and elders.
Study. Students must commit themselves to rigorous study in all subjects.
Discipline. Students must always use self-discipline, speak nice to others, curb bad language and actions and never follow the crowd.
Patience. Students must realize that things do not happen instantly. Be patient and be kind while waiting for your opportunity.
Prepare. Students must study to be prepared for life’s challenges.
Mannerly. Students must always speak well of and be willing to help others.
Persistence. Students must always finish a job or activity. Do not be a quitter.
Serve others. Students should seek opportunities to serve others, and engage in programs and activities that serve others.
We could marvel at the fact that we have a President-elect who has committed a portion of his life to community service. Community service allows one to become involved in issues of today’s society as volunteers. It is in the service to others that sometimes we find our own purpose in life.
As our students look at Obama’s rise to the presidency, they should also use the tools he used for success and apply them to their daily life.