Last night, after leading the United States for eight years, President Barack Obama said his farewell. Classy until the end, he reminded everyone that the peaceful transfer of power from one leader to the next is a cornerstone of democracy.
And he thanked the people. He said, “Whether we’ve seen eye to eye or rarely agreed at all, my conversations with you, the American people — in living rooms and schools; at farms and on factory floors; at diners and at distant outposts — those conversations are what have kept me honest, kept me inspired, and kept me going. Every day, I learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.”
Not everyone agrees with his policies. But he always led with a calm, respectful attitude. He showed the world what a loving husband and father looks like while under enormous pressure. He, along with his wife Michelle, kept their daughters’ lives as normal as possible while the world watched. In fact, his youngest daughter missed his farewell speech because the rules at her school say you can’t travel during exams. Just another school night at the White House.
The most recent U.S. election was a contentious one. People were adamant about who they supported. Many were left disappointed by the final decision. But that’s the thing about democracy. The people vote, within the rules of the system, and the outcome stands. The only thing to do now is come together for the future of the country.
And to remember that each person has the power to make a difference. As he said goodbye, Obama said, “I’m asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours.”