At a White House event on Wednesday where he took questions from Tumblr users, President Obama addressed what he will be doing 10 years from now.
DAVID KARP, TUMBLR CEO: There are plenty of young people out there today who are watching your career incredibly closely. Theyâ€™re thinking about their futures, their careers, their educations that theyâ€™re going off to pursue. Astonishment asked, â€śWhere do you see yourself in 10 years?â€ť (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I havenâ€™t projected out 10 years. Iâ€™m really focused on making sure that I make every day in the next two and a half years count, because itâ€™s an incredible privilege to be in this office. And even when Iâ€™m frustrated with Congress or Iâ€™m frustrated with the press and how itâ€™s reporting things and Washington generally, I also know that thereâ€™s something I can do every single day thatâ€™s helping somebody and that sometimes without a lot of fanfare weâ€™re making it easier for a business to get a loan, and weâ€™re making it easier for a young person to get an education, and weâ€™re making it easier for a family to get health care, and making sure that each day I come away with something that weâ€™ve done to make it a little easier for folks to work their way into the middle class, to stay in the middle class, to save for retirement, to finance their kidsâ€™ college educations -- thatâ€™s a good day for me.
I know what Iâ€™ll do right after the next President is inaugurated. Iâ€™ll be on a beach somewhere drinking out of a coconut. (Laughter.) But that probably wonâ€™t last too long.
And one of the things that Michelle and I have talked about a lot is weâ€™re really interested in developing young people and working with them and creating more institutions to promote young leadership. Iâ€™m so impressed when I meet young people around the country. Theyâ€™re full of passion. Theyâ€™re full of ideas. I think theyâ€™re much wiser and smarter than I was, part of it maybe is because of Tumblr -- I donâ€™t know. (Laughter.)
And so thereâ€™s just huge potential. And the challenge is theyâ€™re also fed a lot of cynicism. You guys are fed a lot of cynicism every single day about how nothing works and big institutions stink and government is broken. And so you channel a lot of your passion and energy into various private endeavors.
But this country has always been built both through an individual initiative, but also a sense of some common purpose. And if thereâ€™s one message I want to deliver to young people like a Tumblr audience is, donâ€™t get cynical. Guard against cynicism. I mean, the truth of the matter is that for all the challenges we face, all the problems that we have, if you had to be -- if you had to choose any moment to be born in human history, not knowing what your position was going to be, who you were going to be, youâ€™d choose this time. The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been. It is more tolerant than it has ever been. It is better fed then itâ€™s ever been. It is more educated than itâ€™s ever been.
Terrible things happen around the world every single day, but the trend lines of progress are unmistakable. And the reason is, is because each successive generation tries to learn from previous mistakes and pushes the course of history in a better direction. And the only thing that stops that is if people start thinking that they donâ€™t make a difference and they canâ€™t make changes. And thatâ€™s fed in our culture all the time.
Itâ€™s fascinating to me -- I donâ€™t consume a lot of television, but generally, the culture right now is inherently in a cynical mood in part because we went through a big trauma back in 2007, 2008 with the financial crisis, and we went through a decade of wars that were really tough. And thatâ€™s the era in which you were born.
But look out on the horizon, and thereâ€™s a lot of opportunity out there. And thatâ€™s what Iâ€™d like to do after the presidency, is make sure that I help young people guard against cynicism and do the remarkable things they can do.