The quotes that follow are a few of my favorites.

And, my friends, more important than winning the election is governing the nation. That is the test of a political party --- the acid, final test. When the tumult and shouting die, when the bands are gone and the lights are dimmed, there is the stark reality of responsibility in an hour of history haunted with those gaunt, grim specters of strife, dissension, and materialism at home, and ruthless, inscrutable and hostile power abroad.

The ordeal of the 20th century --- the bloodiest, most turbulent era of the Christian age --- is far from over. Sacrifice, patience and implacable purpose may be our lot for years to come. Let's face it. Let's talk sense to the American people. Let's tell them the truth, that there are no gains without pains, that we are now on the eve of great decisions, not easy decisions, like resistance when you're attacked, but a long, patient, costly struggle which alone can assure triumph over the great enemies of man --- war, poverty, and tyranny --- and the assaults upon human dignity which are the most grievous consequences of each.

Let's tell them that the victory to be won in the 20th century, this portal to the Golden Age, mocks the pretensions of individual acumen and ingenuity. For it is a citadel guarded by thick walls of ignorance and of mistrust which do not fall before the trumpets' blast or the politicians' imprecations or even a general's baton. They are, my friends, walls that must be directly stormed by the hosts of courage, of morality, and of vision, unafraid of ugly truth, contemptuous of lies, half truths, circuses, and demagoguery.

- Adlai E. Stevenson, Acceptance Speech, July 26, 1952

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.

- Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

If the opinion is right, [those who hold it] are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, Chapter 2 (Paragraph 1)

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

- Oscar Wilde

Governments can err, Presidents do make mistakes. ... Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the constant omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.

- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936 Acceptance Speech

Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our courage, nor our wisdom, nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile, and it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

- Robert Kennedy, March 18, 1968

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

- Abraham Lincoln

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.

- Isaac Asimov

‘Everything that's useful to mankind is noble!’

- Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment, Part Five, Chapter One, spoken by Lebeziatnikov

... Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, but the real task is to alter it.

- Karl Marx, Eleven Theses on Feuerbach, 1845

Pi goes on and on and on
And e is just as cursed.
I wonder which is larger when
Their digits are reversed.

-Martin Gardner

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

- Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act I


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat these two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: `Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

-Rudyard Kipling

Other Good quotes:

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(Back to Views, David Baron)

LDB, dbaron@dbaron.org