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Favorite Quotes (and Stuff)

with 3 comments

quotation marksHere are three of my favorite quotes. I’d love to hear some of yours!

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Do not sacrifice what you want most for what you want right now.
–can’t find author, although I’ve heard it attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt

I saw an angel in the marble, and I carved until I set it free.

Now what got me to thinking about my favorite quotes was recalling a conversation I had with Sandee as we were getting to know one another. For some reason, in the context of the conversation we were having, she quoted FDR and said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I retorted, “I think that’s one of the dumbest quotes I know of!” Granted, not the best thing to say at that moment and, sure enough,  it led to an argument. 🙂

I still think it is a pretty strange quote when taken out of context of FDR’s whole speech and applied to “fear” as a generality. Today, for the first time, I read FDR’s entire inaugural speech from which that quote was taken.

For your reading pleasure, you can click here to read the entire speech. Or, if you’ve already reached your click quota for today, you can read below some selected passages. I think you’ll be surprised how easily he could be addressing the US today, even though this was his first inaugural speech from 1933, at the height of the Great Depression. Let’s hope Obama can lead with the same courage and clarity of FDR.

And btw, the “fear” quote makes much more sense in context. 🙂

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.

Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.

More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.

Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.

The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.

Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.

Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order; there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments; there must be an end to speculation with other people’s money, and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.

There are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress in special session detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the several States.

Through this program of action we address ourselves to putting our own national house in order and making income balance outgo. Our international trade relations, though vastly important, are in point of time and necessity secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy. I favor as a practical policy the putting of first things first. I shall spare no effort to restore world trade by international economic readjustment, but the emergency at home cannot wait on that accomplishment.

The basic thought that guides these specific means of national recovery is not narrowly nationalistic. It is the insistence, as a first consideration, upon the interdependence of the various elements in all parts of the United States—a recognition of the old and permanently important manifestation of the American spirit of the pioneer. It is the way to recovery. It is the immediate way. It is the strongest assurance that the recovery will endure.

Interesting how some things never change.

And unrelated to this post, but related to this one, wherein I asked for advice about my neighbors’ kids… Monday, as I came around the corner toward my house, I saw a mom of two of the kids, standing in the cul-de-sac with a pack of about eight kids around her. Good, I thought, at least there’s some supervision.

After being inside for about 15 minutes, I heard what I thought was firecrackers. Odd, for 6:00 on Aug. 17, but I was curious, so I looked out the window.

The mother was lighting firecrackers for the kids… who were holding the firecrackers in their little hands (these were kids about 8 and younger) and then throwing them!!! It was unsafe on so many levels, my jaw literally dropped. But then, I realized I had my answer about what to do about the letter… not a thing! I was under the impression that the parents were unaware. Now, I know, at least one of them is just ignorant.

Written by blogicalinks

August 19, 2009 at 6:55 pm

Posted in Whatever

3 Responses

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  1. Wow, you’ve got some real winners for neighbors. For real, just let it go and try not to hit a kid, plain and simple.

    As for quotes, my favorite one at the moment is from Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” 🙂


    August 19, 2009 at 9:38 pm

  2. Don’t know if these are favorites, but I like them .. .

    Dolly Parton
    “I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb… and I also know that I’m not blonde.”

    “You’d be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap! ”

    Lily Tomlin
    “Don’t be afraid of missing opportunities. Behind every failure is an opportunity somebody wishes they had missed.”

    “Ninety eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.”

    Bobby Kennedy
    “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” — [actually he borrowed this from George Bernard Shaw.”

    And then there is always my favorite bumper stickers logic …

    “Too bad stupidity isn’t painful.”

    “Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot.”
    [by the way, I hear this is no longer true]


    Wally Traylor

    August 20, 2009 at 3:50 pm

  3. I just love Dolly Parton.

    BTW, the village is still missing the idiot – he moved “back home” but not to the village 😀


    August 21, 2009 at 11:00 am

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