Are We Strong Enough To Be Self-Critical? #Hamspiration

Saturday, March 9, 2015 marked the 50 Year Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” at Edmond Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. To honor the Americans who stood true for justice, President Obama visited the historical landmark and gave a speech that could go down as one of the most powerful presidential speeches of all time. Whether you agree with President Obama, this speech holds multiple golden nuggets that can be applied directly to our creative lives, as Americans and human beings:

After watching this video, YouTuber Sophia Rodriguez accurately pointed out, “I think this is the first Obama video where the [Youtube] comment section did not devolve into a complete flame war. Some faith in humanity restored!” The speech (above) is filled with powerful excerpts that can spark social discourse, racial discourse, and yes…even creative discourse. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of 12 inspiring golden nuggets from this speech–because who in the agency world has 33 minutes for, well, anything? Please, enjoy:

12 Inspiring “Golden Nuggets” From Obama’s Speech at Selma, AL (2015)

1. “We are strong enough to be self-critical.”

2. “Loving this country requires more than singing its praises, or avoiding uncomfortable truths; it requires the occasional DISRUPTION, and the willingness to speak out for what is right–to shake up the status quo, that’s America.”

3. “Each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals.”

5. “We are capable of bearing a great burden, once we discover that the burden is reality and arrive where reality is.” via James Baldwin

6. “We just need to open our eyes, and our ears, and our hearts, to know that this nation’s racial history still casts its long shadow upon us.”

7. “What could more profoundly vindicate the idea of America than plain and humble people? Unsung, the downtrodden, the dreamers not of high-station–not born to wealth or privilege, not of one religious tradition, but many–coming together to shape their country’s course.”

8. “We are storytellers, writers, poets, artists who abore unfairness, and despise hypocrisy, and give voice to the voiceless, and tell truths that need to be told.”

9. “We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.” via Ralph Waldo Emerson

10. “We respect the past, but we don’t pine for the past. We don’t fear the future, we grab for it.”

11. “You are America–unconstrained by habit and convention, unencumbered by “what is” because your are ready to seize what ought to be.”

12. “Our work is never done.”

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