President Barack Obama's farewell speech wasn't just a highlight reel of some of his proudest accomplishments, it was also a pep talk that progressives will turn to for years come. In between celebrating his successes during his eight years in office, Obama focused on the importance of civic duty. Obama's speech encouraged everyone watching at home to realize that, individually and collectively, they can make a real change. "Understand, democracy does not require uniformity," Obama said, acknowledging the country's political divide. "Our founders quarreled and compromised, and expected us to do the same. But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity–the idea that for all our outward differences, we are all in this together; that we rise or fall as one."
Feeling motivated? There's plenty more inspiration where that came from. Here, some of the most memorable quotes from his address:
"Change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it."
"Every day, I learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man."
"I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change–but in yours."
"For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some."
"You were the change. You answered people's hopes, and because of you, by almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started."
"If you're tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life."
"If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing."
"Democracy can buckle when we give in to fear. So just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are."
"It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title: Citizen."
"If you're disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere. Sometimes you'll win. Sometimes you'll lose."
"For those of us fortunate enough to have been a part of this work, to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire. And more often than not, your faith in America–and in Americans–will be confirmed."
"That faith I placed all those years ago, not far from here, in the power of ordinary Americans to bring about change― that faith has been rewarded in ways I couldn't possibly have imagined. I hope yours has, too. Some of you here tonight or watching at home were there with us in 2004, in 2008, in 2012―and maybe you still can't believe we pulled this whole thing off."
"You are the best supporters and organizers anyone could hope for, and I will forever be grateful. Because yes, you changed the world."
"Yes We Can. Yes We Did. Yes We Can."
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