Thursday, November 17, 2016

Be Kind, Be Useful, Be Fearless

"Be kind, be useful, be fearless."  President Obama's discussions with young people, especially White House interns, are full of acute observations and advice.  This quote was lifted by the WH in its weekly summary from his final session with this year's interns.

Unfortunately, it isn't on the very brief excerpt from this session posted on YouTube.  A longer and earlier q & a from a previous session is most interesting. President Obama talks about the origin of his optimism and is especially good on success.  He reminds them that they are "the most privileged people at the most prosperous and secure period of human history."  So the opportunities for doing good are enormous.

He reminds them that becoming President or a successful tech entrepreneur or film director involves a lot of luck. It depends on "certain breaks that you get, it's not because you're so much better than everybody else."  "But being useful, having a satisfying life, making a contribution--that is entirely within your control."

They are both worth seeing precisely at this difficult moment.  Unfortunately this simple phrase that is really worth absorbing right now, that should go viral and achieve lasting life, isn't on these videos.

"Be kind, be useful, be fearless" is to me the mantra for this moment and for the future.  I've added it to this site as a stand-alone quote and on the marque above, substituting for the Dylan song quote: "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there."  Because we're pretty much there.

It's a question now of how do we find our way in the dark.  "Be kind, be useful, be fearless," is a good start.

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