As the new year rolls in, there's always a list of people I have to text my New Year's well-wishes to (you can tell me how nice and considerate I am later). But if you've been the leader of the free world at some point, that list includes a whole country. So usually each year both former and current presidents send a New Year's tweet. This year was no different. President Barack Obama's 2019 New Year's tweet is paying tribute to those who are working to change the world, and it's just so emotional.
A presidential — or former presidential — New Year's well wishes are basically a tradition at this point, but it's still reassuring to see that even if our 44th president has left the White House, he's still thinking about the country. Heading into 2019, Obama took a moment to highlight some of the young leaders who he said inspired him, via a set of tweets on Dec. 29. He honored a number of activists and leaders who are changing the world in different ways, including one working to bring health and wellness initiatives to her communities; two fighting international corruption; a leader on creating a greener world; and another combatting suicide by offering support to those who might be struggling. In a final tweet, Obama wrote,
Their journeys began with a decision to build the better future they wanted to see. The same is true for you. What matters isn’t the size of the step you take; what matters is that you take it.
Don't mind the tears, someone must be chopping onions somewhere around here.
The new tweets are giving me major flashback vibes. Inching into 2018, Obama sent his first New Year's tweet since leaving the Oval Office. On Dec. 29 2017, the former president wanted to distract from all the "bad news" and take some time to share a few uplifting stories from the past year. In the tweet that started the thread, Obama wrote that in an effort to "reflect and prepare" for the year ahead, he likes to look at the "countless stories" from 2016 that "remind us what's best" about the country. Obama wrote,
As we count down to the new year, we get to reflect and prepare for what’s ahead. For all the bad news that seemed to dominate our collective consciousness, there are countless stories from this year that remind us what's best about America.
Obama then proceeded to share a bunch of news stories from 2016 that showed off the best of America. Among them was the story of NFL player Chris Long who donates his checks to fund scholarships in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as a Chicago fifth grader who created "kits full of socks, toiletries, and food for those in need."
Number 44 closed out his thread by asking people to "keep changing the world in 2018."
While Obama was attempting to motivate Americans into action for the greater good, President Donald Trump also sent out a New Year's tweet. On New Year's Eve 2017 the president wished everyone including his " enemies, haters" and the "Fake News Media" a Happy New Year. He wrote,
As our Country rapidly grows stronger and smarter, I want to wish all of my friends, supporters, enemies, haters, and even the very dishonest Fake News Media, a Happy and Healthy New Year. 2018 will be a great year for America!
The president followed his tweet up with a second about an hour later on Dec. 31, boasting how great his making the country in record time. He wrote,
HAPPY NEW YEAR! We are MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, and much faster than anyone thought possible!
Maybe this year both Obama and Trump's tweet will inspire you into action in 2019 — although maybe not for the same reasons.