Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas. May 23, 2007. Gifted. Gifts. Glory. Goals.

Note: A bold-face statement at the conclusion of a quote is my attempt to express a wordy or convoluted quote in plain English.

Gifted 1166 We feel that a man gifted like him should not leave the world as he found it. Emerson, Uncollected Prose.

Gifts 537 He is a good man who can receive a gift well. Emerson, Gifts.

Glory 71 There is no striving for glory without a vivid awareness of an audience—the knowledge that our mighty deeds will come to the ears of our contemporaries or “of those who are to be.” Hoffer, The True Believer [No one strives for glory without awareness of an audience.]

Glory 125 The combination of a desire for glory and an inability to endure the monotony it entails puts many people in the asylum. F. Scott Fitzgerald on Writing. [If one seeks glory, one must endure monotony; those who can’t, wind up in an asylum. ]

Goal 501 JFK: The long-term danger…came not from communism but from ‘hunger, ignorance, poverty and disease: we must…keep those enemies the point of our attack, and make imaginative use of our scientific and technological capacity.’ Schlesinger, A Thousand Days. [Fight hunger, ignorance, poverty and disease, not Communism.]

Goal 569 JFK: No one can doubt that the wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Goal 209 To do something, say something, see something before anybody else--these are the things that confer a pleasure compared with which other pleasures are tame or commonplace. Twain, Innocents Abroad. [To do, say or see something before others can is a great pleasure. ]

Goal 275 …a man must set an example, and so draw men’s souls out of their solitude, and spur them to some act of brotherly love, that the great idea may not die. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Goal 352 …building the connections of insight, understanding, and commonality among all societies—an imperative undertaking if the world is to become more peaceful and more prosperous. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Goal 424 Nietzsche: Just as morality lies not in kindness but in strength, so the goal of human effort should be not the elevation of all but the development of finer and stronger individuals. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Nietzsche. [We need to make the strong stronger.]

Goal 427 Nietzsche: Only by seeing such a man [superman] as our goal and reward of our labors can we love life and live upward. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Nietzsche. [Superman is our goal, the reward of our labors.]

Goal 989 He fails to make his place good in the world, unless he not only pays his debt, but also adds something to the common wealth. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Wealth. [People make their places in the world if they add something to the commonwealth.]

Goal 1071 The man whose eyes are nailed not on the nature of an act, but on the wages, whether it be money, or office or fame—is almost equally low. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Worship. [Those concerned only with reward, not with the acts and efforts to achieve the award, are low. ]

Goal 1096 …the wish to serve—to add somewhat to the well-being of men. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Considerations by the Way.

Goal 632 It is for man to tame the chaos; on every side…to scatter the seeds of science and of song, that climate, corn, animals, men, may be milder, and the germs of love and benefit may be multiplied. Emerson, Representative Men: Uses of Great Men. [People must tame the chaos and sow the seeds of love.]

Goal 448 I am content to enjoy the world without pressing after it, to live a merely excusable life, one that may merely be no burden to myself or to others. Montaigne, Selected Essays. [My goal is not to be a burden to myself or others. ]

Goal 472 I know well what I am fleeing from but not what I am looking for. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Goal 532 I endeavor to keep my soul and my thoughts in repose. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Goal 592 To compose our character is our duty, not to compose books, and to win, not battles and provinces, but order and tranquillity in our conduct. Montaigne, Selected Essays. [Our goal is to establish order and tranquility in our conduct.]

Goal 513 …I had learned the great and obvious fact that the decisive desire of men is not for peace…but for life in dignity…. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

Goals 594 JFK: We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills…. Sorenson, Kennedy. [We strive for goals that are difficult because they help us organize our energies and skills.]

Goals 91 In the Senate, I found that big reform is as easy as small reform…complete overhaul takes the same amount of time, the same number of meetings, the same energy level as a more modest objective. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past. [All objectives require the same amount of work, large or modest.]

Goals 341 “Remember that by seeking the impossible you may justly be denied the possible….” Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote of La Mancha. Part One: 1605. [By seeking the impossible, you could lose the possible.]

Goals 505 Fame, glory, wealth, honor have in the prospect pleasing illusions; but they who come to possess any of them will find they are ingredients toward happiness to be regarded only in the second place, and that when they are valued in the first degree, they are…disappointing….. Steele, 9/11/1711. The Spectator. [Fame, glory, wealth and honor are illusions if they are the goals and not the achievements.]

Goals and Achievements 46 This empire, however, has hitherto existed in imagination only…not an empire, but the project of an empire. Adam Smith, The Cost of Empire, 1776. Hofstadter, ed. Great Issues in American History. Vol. 1. Independence. [The empire is not a goal; it is instead a project.]

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