Because no one should have to feel ashamed of who they are or where they came from. Because there is no right way to live life and not one of us is better than another. Because no one should have the power to tell anyone else who they can and cannot love. Because everyone should have the opportunity to marry or to become a leader, regardless of sexual orientation. Because there is NO SITUATION in which loving someone could be wrong. Because health is not a privilege. Because no wife, husband, parent should ever have to tell their loved one that they cannot afford a procedure that will save their life. Because education should be easily accessible to anyone who is willing to learn. Because not one individual should be ignored or cared for less because of their disabilities or differences. Because no one has a right to tell a woman, or man for that matter, what she or he needs to do with their body. Because we all have opinions, but our opinions do not make us better or worse than anyone else, and it certainly does not give us the right to impose those opinions onto anyone else. Because we are not on this world to compete against each other. Because we are here to care for each other. Because this is not our land, these are not our resources and we do not deserve to be here any more than anyone else. Because we need to care for the planet that we call home. Because life is not a contest and there are no winners. Because immigrants, gays, the poor, etc. are still ostracized and told that they do not belong. Because our skin color does not define us. Because racism is still an issue! Because there are too many people left behind, people who just need help and do know have anyone to reach out to. Because too often, we measure how much a person is worth by how much money they have. Because we will never completely understand what it means to live in someone else’s shoes, and we should not pretend that we do. Because sometimes hard work just isn’t enough to dig yourself out of a bad situation, sometimes all it takes is a little help and kindness from another person. Because all it takes to change someone’s life sometimes is some support, belief and trust. Because we are all equal and deserve equal rights and respect. Because we should all have choices and should exercise the power to make those choices. Because although there will never be a perfect candidate, who we chose WILL make a difference. Because I don’t know and will likely never know the right answers for every problem I encounter, but I will not stop trying to figure them out the best I can. Because I am fortunate enough to live in a country that allows me to voice my opinion, right or wrong, and to hear others’ opinions. Because these discussions are worth having. Because, like it or not, we will share this small planet with seven billion people who are not as different from us as we think. Because everyone deserves to be heard. Because everyone deserves to be happy.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. You can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.
-President Barack Obama