Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Obama: Passion and Vision

As a Canadian I still watched with interest President Obama's 2011 State of the Union speech. As with many of his other speeches, it was filled with energy, hope, and vision.

His address was a pep talk for the country in "winning the future." There are three steps:

- This is "our generation's Sputnik moment" and new strides need to be taken in innovation, research, technology particularly in renewable energy.
"We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn't just change our lives. It's how we make a living."

- We must win the race to educate our kids and encourage improved performance.
"That responsibility (to gain success) begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities. It's family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done. We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline."

- We must rebuild American infrastructure to attract investment.
"To attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information - from high-speed rail to high-speed internet."

Finally I liked the reference to an enterprising American oil drilling business who helped save the Chilean miners. Obama goes on to say,

"We are a nation that says, "I might not have a lot of money, but I have this great idea for a new company. I might not come from a family of college graduates, but I will be the first to get my degree. I might not know those people in trouble, but I think I can help them, and I need to try. I'm not sure how we'll reach that better place beyond the horizon, but I know we'll get there. I know we will."

"We do big things."

To fulfill all these goals is another matter, but President Obama has provided an inspiring vision.

See the full text of his speech here.