Address – Theodore Roosevelt [Citizenship in a republic], 1910

Strange and impressive associations rise in the mind of a man from the New World who speaks before this august body in this ancient institution of learning. Before his eyes pass the shadows of mighty kings and war-like nobles, of great masters of law and theology; through the shining dust of the dead centuries he sees crowded figures that tell of the power and learning and splendor of times gone by; and he sees also the innumerable host of humble students to whom clerkship meant emancipation, to whom it was well-nigh the only outlet from the dark thraldom of the Middle Ages.

This was the most famous university of mediaeval Europe at a time when no one dreamed that there was a New World to discover. Its services to the cause of human knowledge already stretched far back into the remote past at a time when my forefathers, three centuries ago, were among the sparse bands of traders, ploughmen, wood-choppers, and fisherfolk who, in hard struggle with the iron unfriendliness of the Indian-haunted land, were laying the foundations of what has now become the giant republic of the West. To conquer a continent, to tame the shaggy roughness of wild nature, means grim warfare; and the generations engaged in it cannot keep, still less add to, the stores of garnered wisdom which where once theirs, and which are still in the hands of their brethren who dwell in the old land. To conquer the wilderness means to wrest victory from the same hostile forces with which mankind struggled on the immemorial infancy of our race. The primaeval conditions must be met by the primaeval qualities which are incompatible with the retention of much that has been painfully acquired by humanity as through the ages it has striven upward toward civilization. In conditions so primitive there can be but a primitive culture. At first only the rudest school can be established, for no others would meet the needs of the hard-driven, sinewy folk who thrust forward the frontier in the teeth of savage men and savage nature; and many years elapse before any of these schools can develop into seats of higher learning and broader culture.

The pioneer days pass; the stump-dotted clearings expand into vast stretches of fertile farm land; the stockaded clusters of log cabins change into towns; the hunters of game, the fellers of trees, the rude frontier traders and tillers of the soil, the men who wander all their lives long through the wilderness as the heralds and harbingers of an oncoming civilization, themselves vanish before the civilization for which they have prepared the way. The children of their successors and supplanters, and then their children and their children and children’s children, change and develop with extraordinary rapidity. The conditions accentuate vices and virtues, energy and ruthlessness, all the good qualities and all the defects of an intense individualism, self-reliant, self-centered, far more conscious of its rights than of its duties, and blind to its own shortcomings. To the hard materialism of the frontier days succeeds the hard materialism of an industrialism even more intense and absorbing than that of the older nations; although these themselves have likewise already entered on the age of a complex and predominantly industrial civilization.

As the country grows, its people, who have won success in so many lines, turn back to try to recover the possessions of the mind and the spirit, which perforce their fathers threw aside in order better to wage the first rough battles for the continent their children inherit. The leaders of thought and of action grope their way forward to a new life, realizing, sometimes dimly, sometimes clear-sightedly, that the life of material gain, whether for a nation or an individual, is of value only as a foundation, only as there is added to it the uplift that comes from devotion to loftier ideals. The new life thus sought can in part be developed afresh from what is roundabout in the New World; but it can developed in full only by freely drawing upon the treasure-houses of the Old World, upon the treasures stored in the ancient abodes of wisdom and learning, such as this is where I speak to-day. It is a mistake for any nation to merely copy another; but it is even a greater mistake, it is a proof of weakness in any nation, not to be anxious to learn from one another and willing and able to adapt that learning to the new national conditions and make it fruitful and productive therein. It is for us of the New World to sit at the feet of Gamaliel of the Old; then, if we have the right stuff in us, we can show that Paul in his turn can become a teacher as well as a scholar.

Today I shall speak to you on the subject of individual citizenship, the one subject of vital importance to you, my hearers, and to me and my countrymen, because you and we a great citizens of great democratic republics. A democratic republic such as ours – an effort to realize its full sense government by, of, and for the people – represents the most gigantic of all possible social experiments, the one fraught with great responsibilities alike for good and evil. The success or republics like yours and like ours means the glory, and our failure of despair, of mankind; and for you and for us the question of the quality of the individual citizen is supreme. Under other forms of government, under the rule of one man or very few men, the quality of the leaders is all-important. If, under such governments, the quality of the rulers is high enough, then the nations for generations lead a brilliant career, and add substantially to the sum of world achievement, no matter how low the quality of average citizen; because the average citizen is an almost negligible quantity in working out the final results of that type of national greatness. But with you and us the case is different. With you here, and with us in my own home, in the long run, success or failure will be conditioned upon the way in which the average man, the average women, does his or her duty, first in the ordinary, every-day affairs of life, and next in those great occasional cries which call for heroic virtues. The average citizen must be a good citizen if our republics are to succeed. The stream will not permanently rise higher than the main source; and the main source of national power and national greatness is found in the average citizenship of the nation. Therefore it behooves us to do our best to see that the standard of the average citizen is kept high; and the average cannot be kept high unless the standard of the leaders is very much higher.

It is well if a large proportion of the leaders in any republic, in any democracy, are, as a matter of course, drawn from the classes represented in this audience to-day; but only provided that those classes possess the gifts of sympathy with plain people and of devotion to great ideals. You and those like you have received special advantages; you have all of you had the opportunity for mental training; many of you have had leisure; most of you have had a chance for enjoyment of life far greater than comes to the majority of your fellows. To you and your kind much has been given, and from you much should be expected. Yet there are certain failings against which it is especially incumbent that both men of trained and cultivated intellect, and men of inherited wealth and position should especially guard themselves, because to these failings they are especially liable; and if yielded to, their- your- chances of useful service are at an end. Let the man of learning, the man of lettered leisure, beware of that queer and cheap temptation to pose to himself and to others as a cynic, as the man who has outgrown emotions and beliefs, the man to whom good and evil are as one. The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twister pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement. A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticise work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life’s realities – all these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority but of weakness. They mark the men unfit to bear their part painfully in the stern strife of living, who seek, in the affection of contempt for the achievements of others, to hide from others and from themselves in their own weakness. The rôle is easy; there is none easier, save only the rôle of the man who sneers alike at both criticism and performance.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. Shame on the man of cultivated taste who permits refinement to develop into fastidiousness that unfits him for doing the rough work of a workaday world. Among the free peoples who govern themselves there is but a small field of usefulness open for the men of cloistered life who shrink from contact with their fellows. Still less room is there for those who deride of slight what is done by those who actually bear the brunt of the day; nor yet for those others who always profess that they would like to take action, if only the conditions of life were not exactly what they actually are. The man who does nothing cuts the same sordid figure in the pages of history, whether he be a cynic, or fop, or voluptuary. There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder. Well for these men if they succeed; well also, though not so well, if they fail, given only that they have nobly ventured, and have put forth all their heart and strength. It is war-worn Hotspur, spent with hard fighting, he of the many errors and valiant end, over whose memory we love to linger, not over the memory of the young lord who “but for the vile guns would have been a valiant soldier.”

France has taught many lessons to other nations: surely one of the most important lesson is the lesson her whole history teaches, that a high artistic and literary development is compatible with notable leadership im arms and statecraft. The brilliant gallantry of the French soldier has for many centuries been proverbial; and during these same centuries at every court in Europe the “freemasons of fashion: have treated the French tongue as their common speech; while every artist and man of letters, and every man of science able to appreciate that marvelous instrument of precision, French prose, had turned toward France for aid and inspiration. How long the leadership in arms and letters has lasted is curiously illustrated by the fact that the earliest masterpiece in a modern tongue is the splendid French epic which tells of Roland’s doom and the vengeance of Charlemange when the lords of the Frankish hosts where stricken at Roncesvalles. Let those who have, keep, let those who have not, strive to attain, a high standard of cultivation and scholarship. Yet let us remember that these stand second to certain other things. There is need of a sound body, and even more of a sound mind. But above mind and above body stands character – the sum of those qualities which we mean when we speak of a man’s force and courage, of his good faith and sense of honor. I believe in exercise for the body, always provided that we keep in mind that physical development is a means and not an end. I believe, of course, in giving to all the people a good education. But the education must contain much besides book-learning in order to be really good. We must ever remember that no keenness and subtleness of intellect, no polish, no cleverness, in any way make up for the lack of the great solid qualities. Self restraint, self mastery, common sense, the power of accepting individual responsibility and yet of acting in conjunction with others, courage and resolution – these are the qualities which mark a masterful people. Without them no people can control itself, or save itself from being controlled from the outside. I speak to brilliant assemblage; I speak in a great university which represents the flower of the highest intellectual development; I pay all homage to intellect and to elaborate and specialized training of the intellect; and yet I know I shall have the assent of all of you present when I add that more important still are the commonplace, every-day qualities and virtues.

Such ordinary, every-day qualities include the will and the power to work, to fight at need, and to have plenty of healthy children. The need that the average man shall work is so obvious as hardly to warrant insistence. There are a few people in every country so born that they can lead lives of leisure. These fill a useful function if they make it evident that leisure does not mean idleness; for some of the most valuable work needed by civilization is essentially non-remunerative in its character, and of course the people who do this work should in large part be drawn from those to whom remuneration is an object of indifference. But the average man must earn his own livelihood. He should be trained to do so, and he should be trained to feel that he occupies a contemptible position if he does not do so; that he is not an object of envy if he is idle, at whichever end of the social scale he stands, but an object of contempt, an object of derision. In the next place, the good man should be both a strong and a brave man; that is, he should be able to fight, he should be able to serve his country as a soldier, if the need arises. There are well-meaning philosophers who declaim against the unrighteousness of war. They are right only if they lay all their emphasis upon the unrighteousness. War is a dreadful thing, and unjust war is a crime against humanity. But it is such a crime because it is unjust, not because it is a war. The choice must ever be in favor of righteousness, and this is whether the alternative be peace or whether the alternative be war. The question must not be merely, Is there to be peace or war? The question must be, Is it right to prevail? Are the great laws of righteousness once more to be fulfilled? And the answer from a strong and virile people must be “Yes,” whatever the cost. Every honorable effort should always be made to avoid war, just as every honorable effort should always be made by the individual in private life to keep out of a brawl, to keep out of trouble; but no self-respecting individual, no self-respecting nation, can or ought to submit to wrong.

Finally, even more important than ability to work, even more important than ability to fight at need, is it to remember that chief of blessings for any nations is that it shall leave its seed to inherit the land. It was the crown of blessings in Biblical times and it is the crown of blessings now. The greatest of all curses in is the curse of sterility, and the severest of all condemnations should be that visited upon willful sterility. The first essential in any civilization is that the man and women shall be father and mother of healthy children, so that the race shall increase and not decrease. If that is not so, if through no fault of the society there is failure to increase, it is a great misfortune. If the failure is due to the deliberate and wilful fault, then it is not merely a misfortune, it is one of those crimes of ease and self-indulgence, of shrinking from pain and effort and risk, which in the long run Nature punishes more heavily than any other. If we of the great republics, if we, the free people who claim to have emancipated ourselves form the thraldom of wrong and error, bring down on our heads the curse that comes upon the willfully barren, then it will be an idle waste of breath to prattle of our achievements, to boast of all that we have done. No refinement of life, no delicacy of taste, no material progress, no sordid heaping up riches, no sensuous development of art and literature, can in any way compensate for the loss of the great fundamental virtues; and of these great fundamental virtues the greatest is the race’s power to perpetuate the race. Character must show itself in the man’s performance both of the duty he owes himself and of the duty he owes the state. The man’s foremast duty is owed to himself and his family; and he can do this duty only by earning money, by providing what is essential to material well-being; it is only after this has been done that he can hope to build a higher superstructure on the solid material foundation; it is only after this has been done that he can help in his movements for the general well-being. He must pull his own weight first, and only after this can his surplus strength be of use to the general public. It is not good to excite that bitter laughter which expresses contempt; and contempt is what we feel for the being whose enthusiasm to benefit mankind is such that he is a burden to those nearest him; who wishes to do great things for humanity in the abstract, but who cannot keep his wife in comfort or educate his children.

Nevertheless, while laying all stress on this point, while not merely acknowledging but insisting upon the fact that there must be a basis of material well-being for the individual as for the nation, let us with equal emphasis insist that this material well-being represents nothing but the foundation, and that the foundation, though indispensable, is worthless unless upon it is raised the superstructure of a higher life. That is why I decline to recognize the mere multimillionaire, the man of mere wealth, as an asset of value to any country; and especially as not an asset to my own country. If he has earned or uses his wealth in a way that makes him a real benefit, of real use- and such is often the case- why, then he does become an asset of real worth. But it is the way in which it has been earned or used, and not the mere fact of wealth, that entitles him to the credit. There is need in business, as in most other forms of human activity, of the great guiding intelligences. Their places cannot be supplied by any number of lesser intelligences. It is a good thing that they should have ample recognition, ample reward. But we must not transfer our admiration to the reward instead of to the deed rewarded; and if what should be the reward exists without the service having been rendered, then admiration will only come from those who are mean of soul. The truth is that, after a certain measure of tangible material success or reward has been achieved, the question of increasing it becomes of constantly less importance compared to the other things that can be done in life. It is a bad thing for a nation to raise and to admire a false standard of success; and their can be no falser standard than that set by the deification of material well-being in and for itself. But the man who, having far surpassed the limits of providing for the wants; both of the body and mind, of himself and of those depending upon him, then piles up a great fortune, for the acquisition or retention of which he returns no corresponding benefit to the nation as a whole, should himself be made to feel that, so far from being desirable, he is an unworthy, citizen of the community: that he is to be neither admired nor envied; that his right-thinking fellow countrymen put him low in the scale of citizenship, and leave him to be consoled by the admiration of those whose level of purpose is even lower than his own.

My position as regards the moneyed interests can be put in a few words. In every civilized society property rights must be carefully safeguarded; ordinarily, and in the great majority of cases, human rights and property rights are fundamentally and in the long run identical; but when it clearly appears that there is a real conflict between them, human rights must have the upper hand, for property belongs to man and not man to property. In fact, it is essential to good citizenship clearly to understand that there are certain qualities which we in a democracy are prone to admire in and of themselves, which ought by rights to be judged admirable or the reverse solely from the standpoint of the use made of them. Foremost among these I should include two very distinct gifts – the gift of money-making and the gift of oratory. Money-making, the money touch I have spoken of above. It is a quality which in a moderate degree is essential. It may be useful when developed to a very great degree, but only if accompanied and controlled by other qualities; and without such control the possessor tends to develop into one of the least attractive types produced by a modern industrial democracy. So it is with the orator. It is highly desirable that a leader of opinion in democracy should be able to state his views clearly and convincingly. But all that the oratory can do of value to the community is enable the man thus to explain himself; if it enables the orator to put false values on things, it merely makes him power for mischief. Some excellent public servants have not that gift at all, and must merely rely on their deeds to speak for them; and unless oratory does represent genuine conviction based on good common sense and able to be translated into efficient performance, then the better the oratory the greater the damage to the public it deceives. Indeed, it is a sign of marked political weakness in any commonwealth if the people tend to be carried away by mere oratory, if they tend to value words in and for themselves, as divorced from the deeds for which they are supposed to stand. The phrase-maker, the phrase-monger, the ready talker, however great his power, whose speech does not make for courage, sobriety, and right understanding, is simply a noxious element in the body politic, and it speaks ill for the public if he has influence over them. To admire the gift of oratory without regard to the moral quality behind the gift is to do wrong to the republic.

Of course all that I say of the orator applies with even greater force to the orator’s latter-day and more influential brother, the journalist. The power of the journalist is great, but he is entitled neither to respect nor admiration because of that power unless it is used aright. He can do, and often does, great good. He can do, and he often does, infinite mischief. All journalists, all writers, for the very reason that they appreciate the vast possibilities of their profession, should bear testimony against those who deeply discredit it. Offenses against taste and morals, which are bad enough in a private citizen, are infinitely worse if made into instruments for debauching the community through a newspaper. Mendacity, slander, sensationalism, inanity, vapid triviality, all are potent factors for the debauchery of the public mind and conscience. The excuse advanced for vicious writing, that the public demands it and that demand must be supplied, can no more be admitted than if it were advanced by purveyors of food who sell poisonous adulterations. In short, the good citizen in a republic must realize that the ought to possess two sets of qualities, and that neither avails without the other. He must have those qualities which make for efficiency; and that he also must have those qualities which direct the efficiency into channels for the public good. He is useless if he is inefficient. There is nothing to be done with that type of citizen of whom all that can be said is that he is harmless. Virtue which is dependant upon a sluggish circulation is not impressive. There is little place in active life for the timid good man. The man who is saved by weakness from robust wickedness is likewise rendered immune from robuster virtues. The good citizen in a republic must first of all be able to hold his own. He is no good citizen unless he has the ability which will make him work hard and which at need will make him fight hard. The good citizen is not a good citizen unless he is an efficient citizen.

But if a man’s efficiency is not guided and regulated by a moral sense, then the more efficient he is the worse he is, the more dangerous to the body politic. Courage, intellect, all the masterful qualities, serve but to make a man more evil if they are merely used for that man’s own advancement, with brutal indifference to the rights of others. It speaks ill for the community if the community worships these qualities and treats their possessors as heroes regardless of whether the qualities are used rightly or wrongly. It makes no difference as to the precise way in which this sinister efficiency is shown. It makes no difference whether such a man’s force and ability betray themselves in a career of money-maker or politician, soldier or orator, journalist or popular leader. If the man works for evil, then the more successful he is the more he should be despised and condemned by all upright and far-seeing men. To judge a man merely by success is an abhorrent wrong; and if the people at large habitually so judge men, if they grow to condone wickedness because the wicked man triumphs, they show their inability to understand that in the last analysis free institutions rest upon the character of citizenship, and that by such admiration of evil they prove themselves unfit for liberty. The homely virtues of the household, the ordinary workaday virtues which make the woman a good housewife and housemother, which make the man a hard worker, a good husband and father, a good soldier at need, stand at the bottom of character. But of course many other must be added thereto if a state is to be not only free but great. Good citizenship is not good citizenship if only exhibited in the home. There remains the duties of the individual in relation to the State, and these duties are none too easy under the conditions which exist where the effort is made to carry on the free government in a complex industrial civilization. Perhaps the most important thing the ordinary citizen, and, above all, the leader of ordinary citizens, has to remember in political life is that he must not be a sheer doctrinaire. The closest philosopher, the refined and cultured individual who from his library tells how men ought to be governed under ideal conditions, is of no use in actual governmental work; and the one-sided fanatic, and still more the mob-leader, and the insincere man who to achieve power promises what by no possibility can be performed, are not merely useless but noxious.

The citizen must have high ideals, and yet he must be able to achieve them in practical fashion. No permanent good comes from aspirations so lofty that they have grown fantastic and have become impossible and indeed undesirable to realize. The impractical visionary is far less often the guide and precursor than he is the embittered foe of the real reformer, of the man who, with stumblings and shortcoming, yet does in some shape, in practical fashion, give effect to the hopes and desires of those who strive for better things. Woe to the empty phrase-maker, to the empty idealist, who, instead of making ready the ground for the man of action, turns against him when he appears and hampers him when he does work! Moreover, the preacher of ideals must remember how sorry and contemptible is the figure which he will cut, how great the damage that he will do, if he does not himself, in his own life, strive measurably to realize the ideals that he preaches for others. Let him remember also that the worth of the ideal must be largely determined by the success with which it can in practice be realized. We should abhor the so-called “practical” men whose practicality assumes the shape of that peculiar baseness which finds its expression in disbelief in morality and decency, in disregard of high standards of living and conduct. Such a creature is the worst enemy of the body of politic. But only less desirable as a citizen is his nominal opponent and real ally, the man of fantastic vision who makes the impossible better forever the enemy of the possible good.

We can just as little afford to follow the doctrinaires of an extreme individualism as the doctrinaires of an extreme socialism. Individual initiative, so far from being discouraged, should be stimulated; and yet we should remember that, as society develops and grows more complex, we continually find that things which once it was desirable to leave to individual initiative can, under changed conditions, be performed with better results by common effort. It is quite impossible, and equally undesirable, to draw in theory a hard-and-fast line which shall always divide the two sets of cases. This every one who is not cursed with the pride of the closest philosopher will see, if he will only take the trouble to think about some of our closet phenomena. For instance, when people live on isolated farms or in little hamlets, each house can be left to attend to its own drainage and water-supply; but the mere multiplication of families in a given area produces new problems which, because they differ in size, are found to differ not only in degree, but in kind from the old; and the questions of drainage and water-supply have to be considered from the common standpoint. It is not a matter for abstract dogmatizing to decide when this point is reached; it is a matter to be tested by practical experiment. Much of the discussion about socialism and individualism is entirely pointless, because of the failure to agree on terminology. It is not good to be a slave of names. I am a strong individualist by personal habit, inheritance, and conviction; but it is a mere matter of common sense to recognize that the State, the community, the citizens acting together, can do a number of things better than if they were left to individual action. The individualism which finds its expression in the abuse of physical force is checked very early in the growth of civilization, and we of to-day should in our turn strive to shackle or destroy that individualism which triumphs by greed and cunning, which exploits the weak by craft instead of ruling them by brutality. We ought to go with any man in the effort to bring about justice and the equality of opportunity, to turn the tool-user more and more into the tool-owner, to shift burdens so that they can be more equitably borne. The deadening effect on any race of the adoption of a logical and extreme socialistic system could not be overstated; it would spell sheer destruction; it would produce grosser wrong and outrage, fouler immortality, than any existing system. But this does not mean that we may not with great advantage adopt certain of the principles professed by some given set of men who happen to call themselves Socialists; to be afraid to do so would be to make a mark of weakness on our part.

But we should not take part in acting a lie any more than in telling a lie. We should not say that men are equal where they are not equal, nor proceed upon the assumption that there is an equality where it does not exist; but we should strive to bring about a measurable equality, at least to the extent of preventing the inequality which is due to force or fraud. Abraham Lincoln, a man of the plain people, blood of their blood, and bone of their bone, who all his life toiled and wrought and suffered for them, at the end died for them, who always strove to represent them, who would never tell an untruth to or for them, spoke of the doctrine of equality with his usual mixture of idealism and sound common sense. He said (I omit what was of merely local significance):”I think the authors of the Declaration of Independence intended to include all men, but they did not mean to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all men were equal in color, size, intellect, moral development or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness in what they did consider all men created equal-equal in certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. This they said, and this they meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth that all were actually enjoying that equality, or yet that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society which should be familiar to all – constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and, even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people, everywhere.”

We are bound in honor to refuse to listen to those men who would make us desist from the effort to do away with the inequality which means injustice; the inequality of right, opportunity, of privilege. We are bound in honor to strive to bring ever nearer the day when, as far is humanly possible, we shall be able to realize the ideal that each man shall have an equal opportunity to show the stuff that is in him by the way in which he renders service. There should, so far as possible, be equal of opportunity to render service; but just so long as there is inequality of service there should and must be inequality of reward. We may be sorry for the general, the painter, the artists, the worker in any profession or of any kind, whose misfortune rather than whose fault it is that he does his work ill. But the reward must go to the man who does his work well; for any other course is to create a new kind of privilege, the privilege of folly and weakness; and special privilege is injustice, whatever form it takes.

To say that the thriftless, the lazy, the vicious, the incapable, ought to have reward given to those who are far-sighted, capable, and upright, is to say what is not true and cannot be true. Let us try to level up, but let us beware of the evil of leveling down. If a man stumbles, it is a good thing to help him to his feet. Every one of us needs a helping hand now and then. But if a man lies down, it is a waste of time to try and carry him; and it is a very bad thing for every one if we make men feel that the same reward will come to those who shirk their work and those who do it. Let us, then, take into account the actual facts of life, and not be misled into following any proposal for achieving the millennium, for recreating the golden age, until we have subjected it to hardheaded examination. On the other hand, it is foolish to reject a proposal merely because it is advanced by visionaries. If a given scheme is proposed, look at it on its merits, and, in considering it, disregard formulas. It does not matter in the least who proposes it, or why. If it seems good, try it. If it proves good, accept it; otherwise reject it. There are plenty of good men calling themselves Socialists with whom, up to a certain point, it is quite possible to work. If the next step is one which both we and they wish to take, why of course take it, without any regard to the fact that our views as to the tenth step may differ. But, on the other hand, keep clearly in mind that, though it has been worth while to take one step, this does not in the least mean that it may not be highly disadvantageous to take the next. It is just as foolish to refuse all progress because people demanding it desire at some points to go to absurd extremes, as it would be to go to these absurd extremes simply because some of the measures advocated by the extremists were wise.

The good citizen will demand liberty for himself, and as a matter of pride he will see to it that others receive liberty which he thus claims as his own. Probably the best test of true love of liberty in any country in the way in which minorities are treated in that country. Not only should there be complete liberty in matters of religion and opinion, but complete liberty for each man to lead his life as he desires, provided only that in so he does not wrong his neighbor. Persecution is bad because it is persecution, and without reference to which side happens at the most to be the persecutor and which the persecuted. Class hatred is bad in just the same way, and without regard to the individual who, at a given time, substitutes loyalty to a class for loyalty to a nation, of substitutes hatred of men because they happen to come in a certain social category, for judgement awarded them according to their conduct. Remember always that the same measure of condemnation should be extended to the arrogance which would look down upon or crush any man because he is poor and to envy and hatred which would destroy a man because he is wealthy. The overbearing brutality of the man of wealth or power, and the envious and hateful malice directed against wealth or power, are really at root merely different manifestations of the same quality, merely two sides of the same shield. The man who, if born to wealth and power, exploits and ruins his less fortunate brethren is at heart the same as the greedy and violent demagogue who excites those who have not property to plunder those who have. The gravest wrong upon his country is inflicted by that man, whatever his station, who seeks to make his countrymen divide primarily in the line that separates class from class, occupation from occupation, men of more wealth from men of less wealth, instead of remembering that the only safe standard is that which judges each man on his worth as a man, whether he be rich or whether he be poor, without regard to his profession or to his station in life. Such is the only true democratic test, the only test that can with propriety be applied in a republic. There have been many republics in the past, both in what we call antiquity and in what we call the Middle Ages. They fell, and the prime factor in their fall was the fact that the parties tended to divide along the wealth that separates wealth from poverty. It made no difference which side was successful; it made no difference whether the republic fell under the rule of and oligarchy or the rule of a mob. In either case, when once loyalty to a class had been substituted for loyalty to the republic, the end of the republic was at hand. There is no greater need to-day than the need to keep ever in mind the fact that the cleavage between right and wrong, between good citizenship and bad citizenship, runs at right angles to, and not parallel with, the lines of cleavage between class and class, between occupation and occupation. Ruin looks us in the face if we judge a man by his position instead of judging him by his conduct in that position.

In a republic, to be successful we must learn to combine intensity of conviction with a broad tolerance of difference of conviction. Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political, and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not be stunted, if there is to be room for healthy growth. Bitter internecine hatreds, based on such differences, are signs, not of earnestness of belief, but of that fanaticism which, whether religious or antireligious, democratic or antidemocratic, it itself but a manifestation of the gloomy bigotry which has been the chief factor in the downfall of so many, many nations.

Of one man in especial, beyond any one else, the citizens of a republic should beware, and that is of the man who appeals to them to support him on the ground that he is hostile to other citizens of the republic, that he will secure for those who elect him, in one shape or another, profit at the expense of other citizens of the republic. It makes no difference whether he appeals to class hatred or class interest, to religious or antireligious prejudice. The man who makes such an appeal should always be presumed to make it for the sake of furthering his own interest. The very last thing an intelligent and self-respecting member of a democratic community should do is to reward any public man because that public man says that he will get the private citizen something to which this private citizen is not entitled, or will gratify some emotion or animosity which this private citizen ought not to possess. Let me illustrate this by one anecdote from my own experience. A number of years ago I was engaged in cattle-ranching on the great plains of the western Unite States. There were no fences. The cattle wandered free, the ownership of each one was determined by the brand; the calves were branded with the brand of the cows they followed. If on a round-up and animal was passed by, the following year it would appear as an unbranded yearling, and was then called a maverick. By the custom of the country these mavericks were branded with the brand of the man on whose range they were found. One day I was riding the range with a newly hired cowboy, and we came upon a maverick. We roped and threw it; then we built a fire, took out a cinch-ring, heated it in the fire; and then the cowboy started to put on the brand. I said to him, “It So-and-so’s brand,” naming the man on whose range we happened to be. He answered: “That’s all right, boss; I know my business.” In another moment I said to him: “Hold on, you are putting on my brand!” To which he answered: “That’s all right; I always put on the boss’s brand.” I answered: “Oh, very well. Now you go straight back to the ranch and get whatever is owing to you; I don’t need you any longer.” He jumped up and said: “Why, what’s the matter? I was putting on your brand.” And I answered: “Yes, my friend, and if you will steal for me then you will steal from me.”

Now, the same principle which applies in private life applies also in public life. If a public man tries to get your vote by saying that he will do something wrong in your interest, you can be absolutely certain that if ever it becomes worth his while he will do something wrong against your interest. So much for the citizenship to the individual in his relations to his family, to his neighbor, to the State. There remain duties of citizenship which the State, the aggregation of all the individuals, owes in connection with other States, with other nations. Let me say at once that I am no advocate of a foolish cosmopolitanism. I believe that a man must be a good patriot before he can be, and as the only possible way of being, a good citizen of the world. Experience teaches us that the average man who protests that his international feeling swamps his national feeling, that he does not care for his country because he cares so much for mankind, in actual practice proves himself the foe of mankind; that the man who says that he does not care to be a citizen of any one country, because he is the citizen of the world, is in fact usually and exceedingly undesirable citizen of whatever corner of the world he happens at the moment to be in. In the dim future all moral needs and moral standards may change; but at present, if a man can view his own country and all others countries from the same level with tepid indifference, it is wise to distrust him, just as it is wise to distrust the man who can take the same dispassionate view of his wife and mother. However broad and deep a man’s sympathies, however intense his activities, he need have no fear that they will be cramped by love of his native land.

Now, this does not mean in the least that a man should not wish to good outside of his native land. On the contrary, just as I think that the man who loves his family is more apt to be a good neighbor than the man who does not, so I think that the most useful member of the family of nations is normally a strongly patriotic nation. So far from patriotism being inconsistent with a proper regard for the rights of other nations, I hold that the true patriot, who is as jealous of the national honor as a gentleman of his own honor, will be careful to see that the nations neither inflicts nor suffers wrong, just as a gentleman scorns equally to wrong others or to suffer others to wrong him. I do not for one moment admit that a man should act deceitfully as a public servant in his dealing with other nations, any more than he should act deceitfully in his dealings as a private citizen with other private citizens. I do not for one moment admit that a nation should treat other nations in a different spirit from that in which an honorable man would treat other men.

In practically applying this principle to the two sets of cases there is, of course, a great practical difference to be taken into account. We speak of international law; but international law is something wholly different from private of municipal law, and the capital difference is that there is a sanction for the one and no sanction for the other; that there is an outside force which compels individuals to obey the one, while there is no such outside force to compel obedience as regards to the other. International law will, I believe, as the generations pass, grow stronger and stronger until in some way or other there develops the power to make it respected. But as yet it is only in the first formative period. As yet, as a rule, each nation is of necessity to judge for itself in matters of vital importance between it and its neighbors, and actions must be of necessity, where this is the case, be different from what they are where, as among private citizens, there is an outside force whose action is all-powerful and must be invoked in any crisis of importance. It is the duty of wise statesman, gifted with the power of looking ahead, to try to encourage and build up every movement which will substitute or tend to substitute some other agency for force in the settlement of international disputes. It is the duty of every honest statesman to try to guide the nation so that it shall not wrong any other nation. But as yet the great civilized peoples, if they are to be true to themselves and to the cause of humanity and civilization, must keep in mind that in the last resort they must possess both the will and the power to resent wrong-doings from others. The men who sanely believe in a lofty morality preach righteousness; but they do not preach weakness, whether among private citizens or among nations. We believe that our ideals should be so high, but not so high as to make it impossible measurably to realize them. We sincerely and earnestly believe in peace; but if peace and justice conflict, we scorn the man who would not stand for justice though the whole world came in arms against him.

And now, my hosts, a word in parting. You and I belong to the only two republics among the great powers of the world. The ancient friendship between France and the United States has been, on the whole, a sincere and disinterested friendship. A calamity to you would be a sorrow to us. But it would be more than that. In the seething turmoil of the history of humanity certain nations stand out as possessing a peculiar power or charm, some special gift of beauty or wisdom of strength, which puts them among the immortals, which makes them rank forever with the leaders of mankind. France is one of these nations. For her to sink would be a loss to all the world. There are certain lessons of brilliance and of generous gallantry that she can teach better than any of her sister nations. When the French peasantry sang of Malbrook, it was to tell how the soul of this warrior-foe took flight upward through the laurels he had won. Nearly seven centuries ago, Froisart, writing of the time of dire disaster, said that the realm of France was never so stricken that there were not left men who would valiantly fight for it. You have had a great past. I believe you will have a great future. Long may you carry yourselves proudly as citizens of a nation which bears a leading part in the teaching and uplifting of mankind.

Address – Dwight D. Eisenhower [Atoms for Peace], 1953

Members of the General Assembly,

When Secretary General Hammarskjold’s invitation
to address this General Assembly reached me in Bermuda,
I was just beginning a series of conferences
with the prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers
of the United Kingdom and France.
Our subject was some of the problems that beset our world.
During the remainder of the Bermuda Conference,
I had constantly in mind that ahead of me lay a great honor.
That honor is mine today as I stand here,
privileged to address the General Assembly of the United Nations.

At the same time that I appreciate the distinction of addressing you,
I have a sense of exhilaration as I look upon this Assembly.
Never before in history has so much hope for so many people
been gathered together in a single organization.
Your deliberations and decisions during these somber years
have already realized part of those hopes.

But the great tests and the great accomplishments still lie ahead.
And in the confident expectation of those accomplishments,
I would use the office which, for the time being, I hold, to assure you
that the Government of the United States will remain steadfast in its support of this body.
This we shall do in the conviction that you will provide a great share of the wisdom,
of the courage and of the faith which can bring to this world lasting peace for all nations,
and happiness and well-being for all men.

Clearly, it would not be fitting for me to take this occasion to present to you
a unilateral American report on Bermuda.
Nevertheless, I assure you that in our deliberations on that lovely island
we sought to invoke those same great concepts of universal peace and human dignity
which are so clearly etched in your Charter.
Neither would it be a measure of this great opportunity merely to recite,
however hopefully, pious platitudes.
I therefore decided that this occasion warranted my saying to you some of the things
that have been on the minds and hearts of my legislative and executive associates,
and on mine, for a great many months.
thoughts I had originally planned to say primarily to the American people.

I know that the American people share my deep belief that
if a danger exists in the world, it is a danger shared by all.
And equally, that if hope exists in the mind of one nation,
that hope should be shared by all.
Finally, if there is to be advanced any proposal designed to ease
even by the smallest measure the tensions of today’s world,
what more appropriate audience could there be than the members
of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new, one which I,
who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use.
That new language is the language of atomic warfare.

The atomic age has moved forward at such a pace that every citizen of the world should have some comprehension,
at least in comparative terms, of the extent of this development,
of the utmost significance to every one of us.
Clearly, if the peoples of the world are to conduct an intelligent search for peace,
they must be armed with the significant facts of today’s existence.

My recital of atomic danger and power is necessarily stated in United States terms,
for these are the only incontrovertible facts that I know,
I need hardly point out to this Assembly, however,
that this subject is global, not merely national in character.

On 16 July 1945, the United States set off the world’s first atomic explosion.
Since that date in 1945, the United States of America has conducted forty-two test explosions.
Atomic bombs today are more than twenty-five times as powerful as the weapons
with which the atomic age dawned, while hydrogen weapons are in the ranges
of millions of tons of TNT equivalent.

Today, the United States stockpile of atomic weapons, which, of course increases daily,
exceeds by many times the total equivalent of the total of all bombs and all shells
that came from every plane and every gun in every theatre of war in all the years of the World War 2.
A single air group whether afloat or land based, can now deliver to any reachable target
a destructive cargo exceeding in power all the bombs that fell on Britain in all the World War 2.

In size and variety, the development of atomic weapons has been no less remarkable.
The development has been such that atomic weapons have virtually achieved conventional status
within our armed services.
In the United States, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marine Corps
are all capable of putting this weapon to military use.

But the dread secret and the fearful engines of atomic might are not ours alone.

In the first place, the secret is possessed by our friends and allies,
the Great Britain and Canada,
whose scientific genius made a tremendous contribution to our original discoveries
and the designs of atomic bombs.

The secret is also known by the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union has informed us that, over recent years,
it has devoted extensive resources to atomic weapons.
During this period the Soviet Union has exploded a series of atomic devices,
including at least one involving thermo-nuclear reactions.

If at one time the United States possessed what might have been called a monopoly of atomic power,
that monopoly ceased to exist several years ago.
Therefore, although our earlier start has permitted us to accumulate
what is today a great quantitative advantage,
the atomic realities of today comprehend two facts of even greater significance.
First, the knowledge now possessed by several nations will eventually be shared
by others, possibly all others.

Second, even a vast superiority in numbers of weapons,
and a consequent capability of devastating retaliation, is no preventive, of itself,
against the fearful material damage and toll of human lives that would be inflicted by surprise aggression.

The free world, at least dimly aware of these facts,
has naturally embarked on a large program of warning and defense systems.
That program will be accelerated and extended.
But let no one think that the expenditure of vast sums for weapons and systems of defense
can guarantee absolute safety for the cities and citizens of any nation.
The awful arithmetic of the atomic bomb doesn’t permit of any such easy solution.
Even against the most powerful defense, an aggressor in possession
of the effective minimum number of atomic bombs for a surprise attack could probably
place a sufficient number of his bombs on the chosen targets to cause hideous damage.

Should such an atomic attack be launched against the United States,
our reactions would be swift and resolute.
But for me to say that the defense capabilities of the United States are such that
they could inflict terrible losses upon an aggressor, for me to say that
the retaliation capabilities of the United States are so great that such an aggressor’s land
would be laid waste, all this, while fact, is not the true expression of the purpose
and the hopes of the United States.

To pause there would be to confirm the hopeless finality of a belief
that two atomic colossi are doomed malevolently to eye each other indefinitely across a trembling world.
To stop there would be to accept helplessly the probability of civilization destroyed,
the annihilation of the irreplaceable heritage of mankind handed down to us
from generation to generation,
and the condemnation of mankind to begin all over again the age-old struggle upward
from savagery towards decency, and right, and justice.
Surely no sane member of the human race could discover victory in such desolation.
Could anyone wish his name to be coupled by history with such human degradation and destruction?
Occasional pages of history do record the faces of the “great destroyers”,
but the whole book of history reveals mankind’s never-ending quest for peace
and mankind’s God-given capacity to build.

It is with the book of history, and not with isolated pages,
that the United States will ever wish to be identified.
My country wants to be constructive, not destructive.
It wants agreements, not wars, among nations.
It wants itself to live in freedom and in the confidence
that the peoples of every other nation enjoy equally the right of choosing their own way of life.

So my country’s purpose is to help us to move out of the dark chamber of horrors into the light,
to find a way by which the minds of men, the hopes of men, the souls of men everywhere,
can move forward towards peace and happiness and well-being.

In this quest, I know that we must not lack patience.
I know that in a world divided, such as ours today, salvation cannot be attained by one dramatic act.
I know that many steps will have to be taken over many months
before the world can look at itself one day and truly realize
that a new climate of mutually peaceful confidence is abroad in the world.
But I know, above all else, that we must start to take these steps – now.

The United States and its allies, the United Kingdom and France,
have over the past months tried to take some of these steps.
Let no one say that we shun the conference table.
On the record has long stood the request of the United States,
the United Kingdom and France to negotiate with the Soviet Union the problems of a divided Germany.
On that record has long stood the request of the same three nations
to negotiate an Austrian peace treaty.
On the same record still stands the request of the United Nations
to negotiate the problems of Korea.

Most recently we have received from the Soviet Union
what is in effect an expression of willingness to hold a four-Power meeting.
Along with our allies, the United Kingdom and France, we were pleased to see
that this note did not contain the unacceptable pre-conditions previously put forward.
As you already know from our joint Bermuda communique, the United States,
the United Kingdom and France have agreed promptly to meet with the Soviet Union.

The Government of the United States approaches this conference with hopeful sincerity.
We will bend every effort of our minds to the single purpose of emerging
from that conference with tangible results towards peace,
the only true way of lessening international tension.

We never have, and never will, propose or suggest that the Soviet Union surrender
what rightly belongs to it.
We will never say that the peoples of the USSR are an enemy with whom
we have no desire ever to deal or mingle in friendly and fruitful relationship.

On the contrary, we hope that this coming conference may initiate a relationship
with the Soviet Union which will eventually bring about a freer mingling of the peoples
of the East and of the West – the one sure, human way of developing the understanding required
for confident and peaceful relations.

Instead of the discontent which is now settling upon Eastern Germany,
occupied Austria and the countries of Eastern Europe,
we seek a harmonious family of free European nations,
with none a threat to the other, and least of all a threat to the peoples of the USSR.
Beyond the turmoil and strife and misery of Asis,
we seek peaceful opportunity for these peoples to develop their natural resources and to elevate their lot.

These are not idle words or shallow visions.
Behind them lies a story of nations lately come to independence,
not as a result of war, but through free grant or peaceful negotiation.
There is a record already written of assistance gladly given by nations of the West
to needy peoples and to those suffering the temporary effects of famine, drought and natural disaster.
These are deeds of peace.
They speak more loudly than promises or protestations of peaceful intent.

But I do not wish to rest either upon the reiteration of past proposals or the restatement of past deeds.
The gravity of the time is such that every new avenue of peace,
no matter how dimly discernible, should be explored.

There is at least one new avenue of peace which has not been well explored.
An avenue now laid out by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

In its resolution of 28 November 1953 (resolution 715 (VIII)) this General Assembly suggested.
that the Disarmament Commission study the desirability of establishing
a sub-committee consisting of representatives of the Powers principally involved,
which should seek in private an acceptable solution and report
on such a solution to the General Assembly
and to the Security Council not later than 1 September 1954.

The United States, heeding the suggestion of the General Assembly of the United Nations,
is instantly prepared to meet privately with such other countries as may be “principally involved”,
to seek “an acceptable solution” to the atomic armaments race
which overshadows not only the peace, but the very life, of the world.

We shall carry into these private or diplomatic talks a new conception.
The United States would seek more than the mere reduction
or elimination of atomic materials for military purposes.
It is not enough to take this weapon out of the hands of the soldiers.
It must be put into the hands of those who will know how to strip
its military casing and adapt it to the arts of peace.

The United States knows that if the fearful trend of atomic military build-up can be reversed,
this greatest of destructive forces can be developed into a great boon, for the benefit of all mankind.
The United States knows that peaceful power from atomic energy is no dream of the future.
The capability, already proved, is here today.
Who can doubt that, if the entire body of the world’s scientists and engineers had adequate amounts
of fissionable material with which to test and develop their ideas,
this capability would rapidly be transformed into universal, efficient and economic usage?

To hasten the day when fear of the atom will begin to disappear from the minds
the people and the governments of the East and West,
there are certain steps that can be taken now.

I therefore make the following proposal.

The governments principally involved, to the extent permitted by elementary prudence,
should begin now and continue to make joint contributions from their stockpiles
of normal uranium and fissionable materials to an international atomic energy agency.
We would expect that such an agency would be set up under the aegis of the United Nations.
The ratios of contributions, the procedures and other details would properly be within the scope
of the private conversations I referred to earlier.

The United States is prepared to undertake these explorations in good faith.
Any partner of the United States acting in the same good faith will find the United States
a not unreasonable or ungenerous associate.

Undoubtedly, initial and early contributions to this plan would be small in quantity.
However, the proposal has the great virtue that it can be undertaken without the irritations
and mutual suspicions incident to any attempt to set up a completely acceptable system
of world-wide inspection and control.

The atomic energy agency could be made responsible for the impounding,
storage and protection of the contributed fissionable and other materials.
The ingenuity of our scientists will provide special safe conditions under which
such a bank of fissionable material can be made essentially immune to surprise seizure.

The more important responsibility of this atomic energy agency would be to devise methods
whereby this fissionable material would be allocated to serve the peaceful pursuits of mankind.
Experts would be mobilized to apply atomic energy to the needs of agriculture,
medicine and other peaceful activities.
A special purpose would be to provide abundant electrical energy
in the power-starved areas of the world.

Thus the contributing Powers would be dedicating some of their strength
to serve the needs rather than the fears of mankind.

The United States would be more than willing.
It would be proud to take up with others principally involved.
The development of plans whereby such peaceful use of atomic energy would be expedited.

Of those principally involved the Soviet Union must, of course, be one.

I would be prepared to submit to the Congress of the United States,
and with every expectation of approval, any such plan that would.
First, encourage world-wide investigation into the most effective peacetime uses of fissionable material,
and with the certainty that the investigators had all the material needed for the conducting
of all experiments that were appropriate.
Second, begin to diminish the potential destructive power of the world’s atomic stockpiles.
Third, allow all peoples of all nations to see that, in this enlightened age,
the great Powers of the earth, both of the East and of the West,
are interested in human aspirations first rather than in building up the armaments of war.
Fourth, open up a new channel for peaceful discussion and initiative
at least a new approach to the many difficult problems that must be solved
in both private and public conversations if the world is to shake off the inertia
imposed by fear and is to make positive progress towards peace.

Against the dark background of the atomic bomb, the United States does not wish merely
to present strength, but also the desire and the hope for peace.
The coming months will be fraught with fateful decisions.
In this Assembly, in the capitals and military headquarters of the world,
in the hearts of men everywhere, be they governed or governors,
may they be the decisions which will lead this world out of fear and into peace.

To the making of these fateful decisions, the United States pledges before you,
and therefore before the world, its determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma
to devote its entire heart and mind to finding the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man
shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life.

I again thank representatives for the great honor they have done me
in inviting me to appear before them and in listening to me so graciously.

Address – Steve Jobs Stanford 2005

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement.
from one of the finest universities in the world.
I never graduated from college.
Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation.
Today I want to tell you three stories from my life.
That’s it.
No big deal.
Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months,
but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit.
So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born.
My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student,
and she decided to put me up for adoption.
She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates,
so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife.
Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl.
So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking.
“We have an unexpected baby boy. do you want him?”
They said “Of course”.
My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college
and that my father had never graduated from high school.
She refused to sign the final adoption papers.
She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college.
But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford,
and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition.
After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it.
I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life
and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out.
And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life.
So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK.
It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes
that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic.
I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms,
I returned Coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with,
and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night
to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple.
I loved it.
And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity
and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example.

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country.
Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed.
Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes,
I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this.
I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces,
about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations,
about what makes great typography great.
It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way
that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life.
But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me.
And we designed it all into the Mac.
It was the first computer with beautiful typography.
If I had never dropped in on that single course in college,
the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.
And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.
If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class,
and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do.
Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college.
But it was very, very clear looking backward 10 years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward.
you can only connect them looking backward.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
You have to trust in something.
your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.
This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life.
Woz and I started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was 20.
We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us
in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees.
We had just released our finest creation, the Macintosh, a year earlier, and I had just turned 30.
And then I got fired.
How can you get fired from a company you started?
Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented
to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well.
But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out.
When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him.
So at 30 I was out.
And very publicly out.
What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months.
I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down 
that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me.
I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly.
I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley.
But something slowly began to dawn on me, I still loved what I did.
The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit.
I had been rejected, but I was still in love.
And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was
the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
The heaviness of being successful was replaced
by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything.
It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT,
another company named Pixar,
and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife.
Pixar went on to create the world’s first computer animated feature film, Toy Story,
and is now the most successful animation studio in the world.
In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple,
and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance.
And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple.
It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.
Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick.
Don’t lose faith.
I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.
You’ve got to find what you love.
And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life,
and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.
And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.
Don’t settle.
As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.
So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like
“If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”
It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years,
I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself.
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row,
I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool
I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Because almost everything, all external expectations, all pride,
all fear of embarrassment or failure,
these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know
to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
You are already naked.
There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer.
I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas.
I didn’t even know what a pancreas was.
The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable,
and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months.
My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order,
which is doctor’s code for prepare to die.
It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought
you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months.
It means to make sure everything is buttoned up
so that it will be as easy as possible for your family.
It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day.
Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat,
through my stomach and into my intestines,
put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor.
I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me
that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying
because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer
that is curable with surgery.
I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death,
and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades.
Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty
than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die.
Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there.
And yet death is the destination we all share.
No one has ever escaped it.
And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life.
It is Life’s change agent.
It clears out the old to make way for the new.
Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now,
you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.
Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication
called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation.
It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park,
and he brought it to life with his poetic touch.
This was in the late 1960s, before personal computers and desktop publishing,
so it was all made with typewriters, scissors and Polaroid cameras.
It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along.
It was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog,
and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue.
It was the mid 1970s, and I was your age.
On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road,
the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous.
Beneath it were the words.
‘Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.’
It was their farewell message as they signed off.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
And I have always wished that for myself.
And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Address – Barack Obama Keynote 2004

2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address

On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, Land of Lincoln,
let me express my deepest gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention.

Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let’s face it,
my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely.
My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya.
He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack.
His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son.
Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America,
that shone as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before.

While studying here, my father met my mother.
She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas.
Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression.
The day after Pearl Harbor my grandfather signed up for duty.
Joined Patton’s army, marched across Europe.
Back home, my grandmother raised a baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line.
After the war, they studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through F.H.A.,
and later moved west all the way to Hawaii in search of opportunity.

And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter.
A common dream, born of two continents.

My parents shared not only an improbable love,
they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation.
They would give me an African name, Barack, or blessed,
believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success.
They imagined, They imagined me going to the best schools in the land,
even though they weren’t rich, because in a generous America
you don’t have to be rich to achieve your potential.

They’re both passed away now.
And yet, I know that on this night they look down on me with great pride.
They stand here, and I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage,
aware that my parents’ dreams live on in my two precious daughters.
I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story,
that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that,
in no other country on earth, is my story even possible.

Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our Nation.
Not because of the height of our skyscrapers,
or the power of our military,
or the size of our economy.
Our pride is based on a very simple premise,
summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago.

We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That is the true genius of America.
a faith, a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles.
that we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm.
that we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door.
that we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe.
that we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution,
and that our votes will be counted, at least most of the time.

This year, in this election we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments,
to hold them against a hard reality and see how we’re measuring up to the legacy of our forbearers
and the promise of future generations.

And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, I say to you tonight.
We have more work to do, more work to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois,
who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that’s moving to Mexico,
and now are having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour.

More to do for the father that I met who was losing his job and choking back the tears,
wondering how he would pay 4500 dollars a month for the drugs his son needs
without the health benefits that he counted on.
More to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her,
who has the grades, has the drive, has the will, but doesn’t have the money to go to college.

Now, don’t get me wrong.
The people I meet in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks,
they don’t expect government to solve all their problems.
They know they have to work hard to get ahead, and they want to.
Go into the collar counties around Chicago,
and people will tell you they don’t want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or by the Pentagon.

Go in, Go into any inner city neighborhood,
and folks will tell you that government alone can’t teach our kids to learn.

They know that parents have to teach,
that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets
and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white.
They know those things.

People don’t expect, people don’t expect government to solve all their problems.
But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities,
we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life,
and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all.
They know we can do better.
And they want that choice.

In this election, we offer that choice.
Our Party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer.
And that man is John Kerry.

John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith, and service because they’ve defined his life.
From his heroic service to Vietnam, to his years as a prosecutor and lieutenant governor,
through two decades in the United States Senate, he’s devoted himself to this country.

Again and again,
we’ve seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available.

His values and his record affirm what is best in us.
John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded.
So instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas,
he offers them to companies creating jobs here at home.

John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage
our politicians in Washington have for themselves.

John Kerry believes in energy independence,
so we aren’t held hostage to the profits of oil companies,
or the sabotage of foreign oil fields.

John Kerry believes in the Constitutional freedoms
that have made our country the envy of the world,
and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties,
nor use faith as a wedge to divide us.

And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world war must be an option sometimes,
but it should never be the first option.

You know, a while back, a while back I met a young man
named Shamus in a V.F.W. Hall in East Moline, Illinois.
He was a good-looking kid, six two, six three, clear eyed, with an easy smile.
He told me he’d joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq the following week.
And as I listened to him explain why he’d enlisted,
the absolute faith he had in our country and its leaders,
his devotion to duty and service,
I thought this young man was all that any of us might ever hope for in a child.

But then I asked myself,
‘Are we serving Shamus as well as he is serving us?’
I thought of the 900 men and women,
sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors,
who won’t be returning to their own hometowns.

I thought of the families I’ve met who were struggling to get by without a loved one’s full income,
or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered,
but still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.

When we send our young men and women into harm’s way,
we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they’re going,
to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return,
and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace,
and earn the respect of the world.

Now,. Now let me be clear.
Let me be clear.
We have real enemies in the world.
These enemies must be found.
They must be pursued.
And they must be defeated.

John Kerry knows this.
And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men
who served with him in Vietnam,
President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military
might to keep America safe and secure.

John Kerry believes in America.
And he knows that it’s not enough for just some of us to prosper,
for alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga,
a belief that we’re all connected as one people.
If there is a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read,
that matters to me, even if it’s not my child.

If there is a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription drugs,
and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer,
even if it’s not my grandparent.
If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process,
that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief.
It is that fundamental belief.
I am my brother’s keeper.
I am my sister’s keeper that makes this country work.
It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one American family.

E pluribus unum: “Out of many, one.”

Now even as we speak,
there are those who are preparing to divide us the spin masters,
the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.
Well, I say to them tonight,
there is not a liberal America and a conservative America,
there is the United States of America.

There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America.
There’s the United States of America.

The pundits,
the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into red states and blue states.
Red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats.
But I’ve got news for them, too.
We worship an awesome God in the blue states,
and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the red states.

We coach Little League in the blue states and yes,
we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.
There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq
and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.
We are one people,
all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes,
all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end,
In the end, In the end, that’s what this election is about.
Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope?
John Kerry calls on us to hope.
John Edwards calls on us to hope.

I’m not talking about blind optimism here the almost willful ignorance
that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don’t think about it,
or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it.
That’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about something more substantial.
It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs.
The hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores.
The hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta.
The hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds.
The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.
Hope, Hope in the face of difficulty.
Hope in the face of uncertainty.
The audacity of hope!

In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us,
the bedrock of this nation.
A belief in things not seen.
A belief that there are better days ahead.
I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families
with a road to opportunity.

I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless,
homes to the homeless,
and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.
I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs and that as we stand on the crossroads of history,
we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us.

if you feel the same energy that I do,
if you feel the same urgency that I do,
if you feel the same passion that I do,
if you feel the same hopefulness that I do,
if we do what we must do,
then I have no doubt that all across the country,
from Florida to Oregon,
from Washington to Maine,
the people will rise up in November,
and John Kerry will be sworn in as President,
and John Edwards will be sworn in as Vice President,
and this country will reclaim its promise,
and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you very much everybody.
God bless you.
Thank you.