Greatness

1122 – Walt Whitman on the Greatest Country

“The greatest country, the richest country, is not that which has the most capitalists, monopolists, immense grabbings, vast fortunes, with its sad, sad soil of extreme, degrading, damning poverty, but the land in which there are the most homesteads, freeholds – where wealth does not show such contrasts high and low, where all men have enough – a modest living – and no man is made possessor beyond the sane and beautiful necessities.”

-Walt Whitman

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1050 – “Everyone’s got a gift inside of us, and in all honesty, the pursuit of normality is the ultimate sacrifice of potential. The chance for greatness, progress, and change dies the moment we try to be someone else.”

-Faith Jegede

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960 – “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others.”

-Martin Luther King Jr

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919 – Benét’s Prayer for The Common Man

“God of the free, we pledge our hearts and lives today to the cause of all free mankind.
Grant us victory over the tyrants who would enslave all free men and nations. Grant us faith and understanding to cherish all those who fight for freedom as if they were our brothers. Grant us brotherhood in hope and union, not only for the space of this bitter war, but for the days to come which shall and must unite all the children of earth.
Our earth is but a small star in the great universe. Yet of it we can make, if we choose, a planet unvexed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear, undivided by senseless distinctions of race, color or theory. Grant us that courage and foreseeing to begin this task today that our children and our children’s children may be proud of the name of man.
The spirit of man has awakened and the soul of man has gone forth. Grant us the wisdom and the vision to comprehend the greatness of man’s spirit, that suffers and endures so hugely for a goal beyond his own brief span. Grant us honor for our dead who died in the faith, honor for our living who work and strive for the faith, redemption and security for all captive lands and peoples. Grant us patience with the deluded and pity for the betrayed. And grant us the skill and valor that shall cleanse the world of oppression and the old base doctrine that the strong must eat the weak because they are strong.
Yet most of all grant us brotherhood, not only for this day but for all our years — a brotherhood not of words but of acts and deeds. We are all of us children of earth — grant us that simple knowledge. If our brothers are oppressed, then we are oppressed. If they hunger, we hunger. If their freedom is taken away, our freedom is not secure. Grant us a common faith that man shall know bread and peace — that he shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, an equal opportunity and an equal chance to do his best, not only in our own lands, but throughout the world. And in that faith let us march toward the clean world our hands can make.
Amen.”

-Stephen Vincent Benét

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745 – “ना जक्का वासलो होति न जक्का होति ब्रह्मो, कम्मना वसालो होति कम्मना होति ब्राह्मो। “

“Na jaccā vasalo hoti na jaccā hoti brāhmaṇo, Kammanā vasalo hoti kammanā hoti brāhmaṇo.”

“Not by birth does one become an outcast, not by birth does one become a brahmin. By one’s action one becomes an outcast, by one’s action one becomes a brahmin.”

–Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha (more…)

715 – “La grandeur des actions humaines se mesure à l’inspiration qui les fait naître. Heureux celui qui porte en soi un Dieu, un idéal de la beauté et qui lui obéit: idéal de l’art, idéal de la science, idéal de la patrie, idéal des vertus de l’Évangile! Ce sont là les sources vives des grandes pensées et des grandes actions. Toutes s’éclairent des reflets de l’infini.”

“The greatness of human actions is measured by the inspiration that it brings. Blessed is he who carries within himself a God, an ideal of beauty and obeys it: an ideal of art, ideal of science, ideal of country, ideal virtues of the Gospel! These are the wellsprings of great thoughts and great actions. All reflections illuminate infinity.”

–Louis Pasteur (more…)

632 – “A human action becomes genuinely important when it springs from the soil of a clearsighted awareness of the temporality and the ephemerality of everything human. It is only this awareness that can breathe any greatness into an action.”

–Václav Havel
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338 – “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

–Cynthia Occelli

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