President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.”

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”

“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

“If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”, then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”

“If you make peaceful revolution impossible you make violent revolution inevitable”

“Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

“Libraries should be open to all – except the censor.”

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

“To those whom much is given, much is expected.”

“Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.”

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”

“No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.”

“We should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate”

“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.”

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie–deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.”

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

“Liberty without learning is always in peril and Learning without liberty is always in vain.”

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

“If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all — except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.”

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”

“What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”

“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put and end to mankind”

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

“Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world. Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

“I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came”

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute — where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote — where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference — and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish — where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches, or any other ecclesiastical source — where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials — and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”

“I’m an idealist without illusions.”

“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future. ”

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. And however undramatic the pursuit of peace, the pursuit must go on.”

“For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.”

“When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”

“An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.”

“A revolution is coming – a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough – but a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability.”

“All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days . . .nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”

“A child miseducated is a child lost.”

“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”

“I look forward to a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose”

“All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.”

“There is, in addition to a courage with which men die; a courage by which men must live.”

“Whether they be young in spirit, or young in age, the members of the Democratic Party must never lose that youthful zest for new ideas and for a better world, which has made us great.”

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”

“The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable.”

“We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.”

“Art is the great democrat, calling forth creative genius from every sector of society, disregarding race or religion or wealth or color”

“The most powerful single force in the world today is neither Communism nor Capitalism, neither the H-bomb nor the guided missile — it is man’s eternal desire to be free and independent.”

“The supreme reality of our time is the vulnerability of our planet. ”

“Above all, we are coming to understand that the arts incarnate the creativity of a free people. When the creative impulse cannot flourish, when it cannot freely select its methods and objects, when it is deprived of spontaneity, then society severs the root of art.”

“There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

“Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.”

“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.”

“We need men who can dream of things that never were.”

“A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality.”

“The rising tide lifts all the boats.”

“A journey to thousand miles begins with one step”

“I was born an American, I live like an American, I will die an American.”

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”

“The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all morality.”

“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. ”

“Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shore, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles over racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it. Our children are still taught to respect the violence which reduced a red-skinned people of an earlier culture into a few fragmented groups herded into impoverished reservations.”

“To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required – not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

“Not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal motivation, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.”

“Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.”

“But wherever we are, we must all, in our daily lives, live up to the age-old faith that peace and freedom walk together. In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because freedom is incomplete.”

“Our problems are manmade — therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable–and we believe they can do it again.”

“Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.”

“Great crisis produce great men and great deeds of courage.”

“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.”

“And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights — the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation – the right to breathe air as nature provided it — the right of future generations to a healthy existence?”

“So let us begin anew – remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof”

“If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live.”

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.”

“I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: ‘I served in the United States Navy.”

“No American is ever made better off by pulling a fellow American down, and all of us are made better off whenever any one of us is made better off.”

“We must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient, that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind, that we cannot right every wrong or reverse every adversity, and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.”

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”

“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”

“With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

“We, in this country, in this generation, are – by destiny rather than by choice – the watchmen on the walls of world freedom.”

“The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society.”

“The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.”

“We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light a candle that can guide us through the darkness to a safe and sure future. For the world is changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do. The problems are not all solved and the battles are not all won and we stand today on the edge of a New Frontier – a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils, a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats.”

“It has been a long road to this crowded convention city. Now begins another long journey, taking me into your cities and towns and homes all over America.”

“Give me your help. Give me your hand, your voice and your vote.”

“Time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life.”

“A nation which has forgotten the quality of courage which in the past has been brought to public life is not as likely to insist upon or regard that quality in its chosen leaders today – and in fact we have forgotten.”

“Immigration policy should be generous; it should be fair; it should be flexible. With such a policy we can turn to the world, and to our own past, with clean hands and a clear conscience.”

“Without debate, without criticism no administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive.”

“When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”

“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President — should he be Catholic — how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him.”

“The interaction of disparate cultures, the vehemence of the ideals that led the immigrants here, the opportunity offered by a new life, all gave America a flavor and a character that make it as unmistakable and as remarkable to people today as it was to Alexis de Tocqueville in the early part of the nineteenth century.”

“The life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, in the life of the nation, is close to the center of a nation’s purpose – and is a test to the quality of a nation’s civilization.”

“When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations.”

“World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor—it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever . . .”

“Every dollar released from taxation, that is spent or invested, will create a new job and a new salary.”

“So, let us not be blind to our differences- but let us also direct our attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved.”

“The stories of past courage can define that ingredient- they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot provide courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.”

“I hope that no American will waste his franchise and throw away his vote by voting either for me or against me solely on account of my religious affiliation. It is not relevant.”

“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which fulfilled can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation. One person can make a difference and everyone should try.”

“So, let us not be blind to our differences — but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

“The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy.”

“Our progress as a nation can be not swifter than our progress in education.”

“We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world or to make it the last.”

“All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.”

“It is our task in our time and in our generation to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.”

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: