This Bobby guy, or his speechwriter, dropped some serious knowledge.  He clearly saw a world not yet in existence.  Below are his tips for building that world.

1. Keep Dreaming

“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?”

2. Harness Youth

“This world demands the qualities of youth; not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease.”

3. Ditch the Safety Net

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

4. No Insignificant Excuses

“Few will have the greatness to bend history, 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 a generation.”

5. Get Going

“It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task.”

6. Make (a Difference)

“The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.”

7. Get Selfless

“We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children’s future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.”

8. Get Real

“But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.”

9. Haters be Hatin’

“One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time.”


“Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.”

11. Keep Your Wits About You

“People say I am ruthless. I am not ruthless. And if I find the man who is calling me ruthless, I shall destroy him.”

12. Priority Check

“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 devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”


3 thoughts on “Robert Kennedy: dispenser of mad wise words

  1. The Kennedy years were filled with hope and wonder. Something about that era still captures the imaginations of filmmakers everywhere. Will there soon be an end to the biographies about Jack and Bobby? Fifty years later? I don’t think so. JFK had this far-fetched idea of putting a man on the moon. They did it! It’s that hope that sparked one of the most influential periods in American history.

    Thanks for these quotes. This is my fav: “The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.” So true. So true. If only everyone would know about this. This post actually gives me an idea for a Freedom Friday post on my site.

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