When the name John F. Kennedy is uttered, many people over 60 immediately remember where they were the moment they heard he died. He will forever be associated with that fateful day in Dallas, but JFK's memory is worth so much more.
In his 46 years, he accomplished quite a bit. He was a war hero, a United States senator, and he became the 2nd youngest President after Theodore Roosevelt.
Jack (as he was often called) was an early advocate of civil rights and inspired a generation to think about public service. He invented the Peace Corps, of which my son is currently in service in Costa Rica.
Kennedy would have been 99 years old this week if not for his assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963. This is as good a time as any to consider his lessons of leadership. Here are some of his best quotes.
1. "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
2. "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future".
3. "Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity."
4. "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."
5. "Things do not happen. Things are made to happen."
6. "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."
7. "Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all."
8. "Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction."
9. "The best road to progress is freedom's road."
10. "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
11. "There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction."
12. "A child miseducated is a child lost."
13. "The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining."
14. "Sure it's a big job; but I don't know anyone who can do it better than I can."
15. "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate."
16. "If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him."
17. "The human mind is our fundamental resource."
18. "Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan."
19. "Our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security."
20. "The greater our knowledge increases the more our ignorance unfolds."
21. "The pay is good and I can walk to work."
22. "The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth."
23. "Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
24. "Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly."
25. "We must use time as a tool, not as a couch."
26. "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."
27. "Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life."
28. "To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past. The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust."
29. "A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality."