President Barack Obama

“We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things… And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.”

This to me is the defining message of our new president’s inaugural speech.

The pioneer spirit that has sustained America for 232 years and counting is built on the notion that all our resources are infinite. But history has revealed otherwise, and moving forward, we cling to this belief at our own peril.

President Obama has pledged to never sacrifice our ideals for security, or to apologize to anyone for our way of life. He has chosen his words thoughtfully. It’s not about lowering our American standard of living or consuming less as an end in itself. Rather, it’s about smart decisions that face reality and acknowledge the needs of those outside ourselves, which is the very definition of maturity.

Starting with the simple tire gauge, there are countless ways for us to preserve our relative comfort while making good on promises to help all nations rise through prosperity and freedom. This promise is what motivates other nations to continue welcoming us as a leader, partner and friend. This promise is in fact our national security, and our own future in its finest hour.

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