Too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of other human beings.
(from the speech, 'The Mindless Menace of Violence')
Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.
Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.
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?
(a quote by George Bernard Shaw often attributed to RFK)
Each time a man stands for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
When he shall die take him and cut him out into stars and he shall make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.
(Quoting Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet at the Democratic National Convention, 8/27/64)
Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.
( Address, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, March 18, 1968)
I think we can end the divisions within the United States. What I think is quite clear is that we can work together in the last analysis. And that what has been going on with the United States over the period of that last three years, the divisions, the violence, the disenchantment with our society, the divisions- whether it's between blacks and whites, between the poor and the more affluent, or between age groups, or in the war in Vietnam - that we can work together. We are a great country, and unselfish country and a compassionate country. And I intend to make that my basis for running.
(California Victory Speech, Los Angeles, California, June 4, 1968)