Ideals

Thoroughly living life requires initiative, risk taking, sustained action against the odds, making sacrifices for ideals and for others, and leaps of faith. People who live such lives report being happy, hopeful, and exhilarated – even when they fail.

It is attitude, infinitely more than circumstance, that determines the quality of life. Life is often quite tough, challenging us to choose between seemingly esoteric, intangible ideals and getting goodies or good vibes right now. You have character when you most often choose ideals.

It would be especially tragic if the people who most cherish ideals of peace, who are most anxious for political cooperation on a wider than national scale, made the mistake of underestimating the pace of economic change in our modern world.

The purpose of adolescence is to revise the past, not to obliterate it. . . . Adolescence entails the deployment of family passions to the passions and ideals that bind individuals to new family units, to their communities, to the species, to nature, to the cosmos. Therefore, given half a chance, the revolution at issue in adolescence becomes a revolution of transformation, not of annihilation.

During adolescence imagination is boundless. The urge toward self-perfection is at its peak. And with all their self- absorption and personalized dreams of glory, youth are in pursuit of something larger than personal passions, some values or ideals to which they might attach their imaginations.

We must have ideals and try to live up to them, even if we never quite succeed. Life would be a sorry business without them. With them it's grand and great.

It is an arduous task to ensure a better life for the several hundred million people of China and to build our economically and culturally backward country into a prosperous and powerful one with a high level of culture. And it is precisely in order to be able to shoulder this task more competently and work better together with all non-Party people who are actuated by high ideals and determined to institute reforms that we must conduct rectification movements both now and in the future, and constantly rid ourselves of whatever is wrong.

When you stop having dreams and ideals - well, you might as well stop altogether.

Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody. Not a few men who cherish lofty and noble ideals hide them under a bushel for fear of being called different.

In corporate life, I think there are three important areas which contracts can't deal with, the area of conflict, the area of change and area of reaching potential. To me a covenant is a relationship that is based on such things as shared ideals and shared value systems and shared ideas and shared agreement as to the processes we are going to use for working together. In many cases they develop into real love relationships.

Leaders are walking and talking manuals of behavior. As we listen to them, we silently ask ourselves what they did last Friday morning when there was a problem. And we watch. And just as surely as financial people measure return on assets, we all measure the behavior of our leaders. We measure it against our ideals and our realities.

All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened.

President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."... Neither half of that statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. "What your country can do for you" implies that the government is the patron, the citizen the ward. "What you can do for your country" assumes that the government is the master, the citizen the servant.

We want our children to become warm, decent human beings who reach out generously to those in need. We hope they find values and ideals to give their lives purpose so they contribute to the world and make it a better place because they have lived in it. Intelligence, success, and high achievement are worthy goals, but they mean nothing if our children are not basically kind and loving people.

With the breakdown of the traditional institutions which convey values, more of the burdens and responsibility for transmitting values fall upon parental shoulders, and it is getting harder all the time both to embody the virtues we hope to teach our children and to find for ourselves the ideals and values that will give our own lives purpose and direction.

While I have not lost faith in its potentialities, my views have changed since. War can not be avoided until the physical cause for its recurrence is removed and this, in the last analysis, is the vast extent of the planet on which we live. Only though annihilation of distance in every respect, as the conveyance of intelligence, transport of passengers and supplies and transmission of energy will conditions be brought about some day, insuring permanency of friendly relations. What we now want most is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth and the elimination of that fanatic devotion to exalted ideals of national egoism and pride, which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife. No league or parliamentary act of any kind will ever prevent such a calamity. These are only new devices for putting the weak at the mercy of the strong.

I have observed in the House of Morgan a largeness, nobility and firmness of character the like of which is very scarce indeed. I can only smile when I read the attempts to find something discreditable in the transactions of J.P. Morgan & Co. Not a hundred of such investigations will ever uncover anything which an unprejudiced judge would not consider honorable, fair, decent and in every way conforming to the high ideals and ethical standards of business. I would be willing to stake my life on it.

When we start out on a spiritual path we often have ideals we think we're supposed to live up to. We feel we're supposed to be better than we are in some way. But with this practice you take yourself completely as you are. Then ironically, taking in pain - breathing it in for yourself and all others in the same boat as you are - heightens your awareness of exactly where you're stuck.

Scratch the surface of most cynics and you find a frustrated idealist — someone who made the mistake of converting his ideals into expectations.

Above all is every thought and feeling in these poems touched by the light
of the great revolutionary truth that man, unfolded through vast stretches
of time out of lowly antecedents, is a rising, not a fallen creature;
emerging slowly from purely animal life; as slowly as the strata are piled
and the ocean beds hollowed; whole races still barely emerged, countless
individuals in the foremost races barely emerged: "the wolf, the snake,
the hog" yet lingering in the best; but new ideals achieved, and others
come in sight, so that what once seemed fit is fit no longer, is adhered
to uneasily and with shame; the conflicts and antagonisms between what we
call good and evil, at once the sign and the means of emergence, and
needing to account for them no supposed primeval disaster, no outside
power thwarting and marring the Divine handiwork, the perfect fitness to
its time and place of all that has proceeded from the Great Source. In a
word that Evil is relative; is that which the slowly developing reason and
conscience bid us leave behind. The prowess of the lion, the subtlety of
the fox, are cruelty and duplicity in man.