In Honor Of…

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”

“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”

“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”

“The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.”

“Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.”

“What is wrong in the world today is that the nations of the world are engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy.”

John F. Kennedy

Official White House Photo

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”

“Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.”

“Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.”

 “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
“Ask not what your country can do for you… ask what you can do for your country.”

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

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

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

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ”

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”

“Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated.”

“We have always known that heedless self interest was bad morals, we now know that it is bad economics.”

“A Radical is a man with both feet firmly planted–in the air. A Conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward. A Reactionary is a somnambulist walking backwards. A Liberal is a man who uses his legs and his hands at the behest–at the command–of his head.”

“We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.”

“Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.”

“We have learned that we cannot live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of nations far away. We have learned that we must live as men, and not as ostriches nor as dogs in the manger. We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community.”

“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected.”

Albert Einstein

1921 Nobel Prize in Physics Photograph

“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.”

“Thinking is hard work; that’s why so few do it.”

“Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.”

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

“I would teach peace rather than war. I would inculcate love rather than hate.”

“I believe in intuitions and inspirations. I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am.”

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

“The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.”

“Hail to the man who went through life always helping others, knowing no fear, and to whom aggressiveness and resentment are alien.”

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”

“Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.”

“Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent people ignore.”

“The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.”

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

“I am strongly drawn to a frugal life and am often oppressively aware that I am engrossing an undue amount of the labor of my fellow-men.”

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding”

Abraham Lincoln

Portrait by Alexander Gardner

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

“Those who look for the bad in people will surely find it.”

“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”

Alexander Hamilton

Portrait by John Trumbull

“Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have lies in this; when I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it. Then the effort that I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.”

“Those who stand for nothing fall for everything.”

“The art of reading is to skip judiciously.”

“There are seasons in every country when noise and impudence pass current for worth; and in popular commotions especially, the clamors of interested and factious men are often mistaken for patriotism. ”

“Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.”

“The truth unquestionably is, that the only path to a subversion of the republican system of the Country is, by flattering the prejudices of the people, and exciting their jealousies and apprehensions, to throw affairs into confusion, and bring on civil commotion.”

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

“A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.”

“Never expect a perfect work from an imperfect man”