From releasing his very on-point mixtapes, to that time he appeared on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, President Obama has maintained broad millennial appeal. His latest presidential offering is an essay wherein he reflects on his travels as president, and what young people from all over the world have taught him.
Having clocked in over 1.5 million kilometres during his two terms of presidency, Obama’s travels have spanned many objectives, yet in this essay penned for Lonely Planet, he focuses his words on the young people of today, and the hope they’ve given him. “At a time when we are faced with so much division in global politics, young people are often more tolerant, more compassionate, and more committed to working to make change that benefits their communities from the bottom up.” he writes.
President Obama goes on to describe the virtues of travel, stating that his voyages have helped him grow as a leader and person, and saying that his trips have granted him ” tolerance and multiculturalism.”
As part of his trips, he has also been holding a town hall meetings with young people throughout the world to ensure he’s got his finger on the pulse of our future. Having founded the Young Leaders Initiatives in disadvantaged places across the globe, it’s not hard to see why he’s so invested in the young people he meets during his travels.
“I have always believed that our engagements with other countries must not be limited to governments – we also have to engage people around the world. In particular, we must sustain our engagement with young people, who will determine the future long after those of us in positions of power leave the world stage,” he writes.
He finishes his beautiful essay in the same way he’s finishing his presidency; with equal measures of ambition and optimism. “[Young people] give me hope, and I look forward to witnessing the extraordinary change that they can make as they claim the mantle of leadership.”
(Lead Image: © Pete Souza/Official White House Photo via Wikipedia.)