Graduates of the class of 2013 react to their commencement address given by U.S. President Obama during a spring downpour at Morehouse College in Atlanta

On Sunday, May 19th , President Barack Obama spoke to a large crowd of graduates at the 2013 Morehouse College commencement in pouring rain. President Obama is the first sitting President since the 1930’s to deliver a commencement address in the state of Georgia. The President’s speech was filled with personal and historical references. The overall theme of his commencement address was making sure that this group of predominantly black males knew that the time for excuses is over. His speech also entailed of one line zingers that referenced his rough week at work.  Here are a few excerpts from his speech:

“Sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down, I had a tendency to make excuses for me not doing the right thing. But one of the things that all of you have learned over the last four years is, there’s no longer any room for excuses.”

“We’ve got no time for excuses — not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they have not. Not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; we know those are still out there. It’s just that in today’s hyperconnected, hypercompetitive world, with millions of young people from China and India and Brazil — many of whom started with a whole lot less than all of you did — all of them entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything that you have not earned,”

In 2013, are our days of excuses over? In my opinion, our days of excuses have ended for a while. Everyone’s struggle should be acknowledged, but should not be the main pretense for an excuse. At the end of the day, would you rather have a pile of excuses or a pile of successes?

President Obama’s speech can be seen in it’s entirety below:

How do you feel?



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