歐巴馬給女兒的信"我們一家的大冒險"（中英對照） 2009/01/17 “What I Want For You- And Every Child in America”
by President-Elect Barack Obama (Published in Parade Magazine)
Dear Malia and Sasha,
I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.
When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me—about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.
當我還年輕的時候，我認為生活就該繞著我轉：我如何在這世上得心應手，成功立業，得到我想要的。後來，你們倆進入了我的世界，帶來的種種好奇、淘氣和微 笑，總能填滿我的心，照亮我的日子。突然之間，我為自己譜寫的偉大計畫顯得不再那麼重要了。我很快便發現，我在你們生命中看到的快樂，就是我自己生命中最 大的快樂。而我也同時體認到，如果我不能確保你們此生能夠擁有追求幸福和自我實現的一切機會，我自己的生命也沒多大價值。總而言之，我的女兒，這就是我競選總統的原因：我要讓你們倆和這個國家的每一個孩子，都能擁有我想要給他們的東西。
I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential—schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college—even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.
I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.
Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country—but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free—that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.
有時候為了保護我們的國家，我們不得不把青年男女派到戰場或其他危險的地方，然而當我們這麼做的時候，我要確保師出有名，我們盡了全力以和平方式化解與他 人的爭執，也想盡了一切辦法保障男女官兵的安全。我要每個孩子都明白，這些勇敢的美國人在戰場上捍衛的福祉是無法平白得到的：在享有作為這個國家公民的偉 大特權之際，重責大任也隨之而來。
That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.
She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better—and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It's a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.
I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much—although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.
These are the things I want for you—to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure.
I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.