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Obama urges Ohio State grads to be active citizens

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 5 (UPI) — President Obama told graduates of The Ohio State University the age of instant information meant they could have a significant and early impact on society.

Obama helped the class of 2013 say goodbye to Columbus at the university football stadium and reminded them the idea of citizenship was still valid even though the information age was making people more self-reliant.

“Sometimes, we see it as a virtue from another time,” Obama said in his prepared remarks, “one that is slipping from a society that celebrates individual ambition; a society awash in instant technology that empowers us to leverage our skills and talents like never before, but just as easily allows us to retreat from the world. ”

The president added he did not actually see the younger generation as becoming too insular. He said he saw plenty of virtues such as altruism, empathy and “a deep sense of service that makes me optimistic for our future.

Obama saluted graduates who were either military veterans or were entering the service and told the audience participation in democracy was a serious and necessary responsibility.

“The founders trusted us with this awesome authority and we should trust ourselves with it,” Obama said. “Because when we don’t, when we turn away and get discouraged and abdicate that authority, we grant our silent consent to someone who will gladly claim it. ”

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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