|“On this generation of Americans falls the full burden of proving to the world that we really mean it when we say all men are created equal before the law. All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.
But all our great cooperative efforts will come to little if they do not succeed in restoring importance to the lives of individual men. Long ago the Greeks defined happiness as ‘the exercise of vital powers along line of excellence in a life affording them scope.’ The fulfilment of that objective is increasingly difficult in the face of the giant organisations and massive bureaucracies of the age. Still it is what we must seek, helping men and communities to mark off a corner of the word in which to move, to stretch mind and body in the effort ‘not only to equal or resemble, but to excel,’ which John Adams told us would forever be ‘the great spring of human action’ – and which was our goal for ourselves and one another in our compact two short centuries ago.”
|Make gentle the life of this world|