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Obama tells Americans to be more competitive

Last updated on: May 20, 2013 12:49 IST

Obama tells Americans to be more competitive

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Lalit K Jha in Washington

US President Barack Obama has asked Americans to be more competitive as millions of young people from countries like India, China and Brazil are joining the global workforce.

"In today's hyper-connected, hyper-competitive 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," Obama said.

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Image: U.S. President Barack Obama celebrates on stage as confetti falls after his victory speech during his election rally in Chicago, November 6, 2012.
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

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Obama tells Americans to be more competitive

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In his speech at the Morehouse College Commencement Ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia, Obama asked the young people of his country to work hard.

"Nobody cares how tough your upbringing was.

"Nobody cares if you suffered some discrimination.

"And moreover, you have to remember that whatever you've gone through, it pales in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured -- and they overcame them.

"And if they overcame them, you can overcome them, too," he said.

Obama said that it is hard work that demands one constant attention and frequent sacrifice.

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Image: U.S. President Barack Obama celebrates with first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia (R) and Sasha at their election night victory rally in Chicago, November 7, 2012.
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

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Obama tells Americans to be more competitive

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"I promise you, Michelle (the First Lady) will tell you I'm not perfect. "She's got a long list of my imperfections.

"Even now, I'm still practicing, I'm still learning, still getting corrected in terms of how to be a fine husband and a good father.

But I will tell you this: Everything else is unfulfilled if we fail at family, if we fail at that responsibility," he said amidst applause.

"I know that when I am on my deathbed someday, I will not be thinking about any particular legislation I passed; I will not be thinking about a policy I promoted; I will not be thinking about the speech I gave, I will not be thinking the Nobel Prize I received," he said.

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Image: U.S. President Barack Obama reacts as he sees photographers through a door window from backstage as he waits to deliver remarks at the U.S.-India business council and entrepreneurship summit in Mumbai, November 6, 2010.
Photographs: Jason Reed/Reuters

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Obama tells Americans to be more competitive

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"I will be thinking about that walk I took with my daughters.

"I'll be thinking about a lazy afternoon with my wife.  

"I'll be thinking about sitting around the dinner table and seeing them happy and healthy and knowing that they were loved.   

"And I'll be thinking about whether I did right by all of them," Obama said.

"So be a good role model, set a good example for that young brother coming up.

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Image: General Dynamics employees work on an Abrams battle tank during a tour of the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, Lima Army Tank Plant, in Lima, Ohio.
Photographs: Matt Sullivan/Reuters

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"If you know somebody who's not on point, go back and bring that brother along -- those who've been left behind, who haven't had the same opportunities we have -- they need to hear from you," he said.

"You've got to be engaged on the barbershops, on the basketball court, at church, spend time and energy and presence to give people opportunities and a chance.

"Pull them up, expose them, support their dreams. Don't put them down," said the US President.


Image: Stephen Battaglia (L) of West Palm Beach, Florida searches for jobs on a computer at Workforce Alliance in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Photographs: Joe Skipper/Reuters
Tags: Obama , Americans , US

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