But when the law, by means of its necessary agent, force, imposes upon men a regulation of labor, a method or a subject of education, a religious faith or creed - then the law is no longer negative; it acts positively upon people. It substitutes the will of the legislator for their own wills, the initiative of the legislator for their own initiatives. When this happens, the people no longer need to discuss, to compare and to plan ahead; the law does all this for them. Intelligence becomes a useless prop for the people; they cease to be men; they lose their personality, their liberty, their property.
The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company . . . a church . . . a home. The remarkable thing is, we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. . . . we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. . . . we cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you . . . we are in charge of our Attitudes.
Consideration is not merely a matter of emotional goodwill but of intellectual vigor and moral self sacrifice. Wisdom must combine with sympathy. That is why consideration underlies the phrase "a scholar and a gentleman," which really sums up the ideal of the output of a college education.
Charles Seymour (1885 - 1963)
Source: Statement made while president of Yale University, 1937-1950
I don't believe athletes should be role models. . . . We're a one-shot deal, one in a million, so we should be the least likely role models. . . . I think one of the problems in society today is that we don't stress education enough, because we glorify athletes, actors and actresses.
Without realizing what was happening, most of us gradually came to take for granted the premises underlying the philosophy of optimism. We proceeded to live these propositions, though we would not have stated them as blandly as I set them forth here: Man is inherently good. Individual man can carve out his own salvation with the help of education and society through progressively better government. Reality and values worth searching for lie in the material world that science is steadily teaching us to analyze, catalogue, and measure. While we do not deny the existence of inner values, we relegate them to second place. The purpose of life is happiness, [which] we define in terms of enjoyable activity, friends, and the accumulation of material objects. The pain and evil of life - such as ignorance, poverty, selfishness, hatred, greed, lust for power - are caused by factors in the external world; therefore, the cure lies in the reforming of human institutions and the bettering of environmental conditions. As science and technology remove poverty and lift from us the burden of physical existence, we shall automatically become finer persons, seeing for ourselves the value of living the Golden Rule. In time, the rest of the world will appreciate the demonstration that the American way of life is best. They will then seek for themselves the good life of freedom and prosperity. This will be the greatest impetus toward an end of global conflict. The way to get along with people is to beware of religious dictums and dogma. The ideal is to be a nice person and to live by the Creed of Tolerance. Thus we offend few people. We live and let live. This is the American Way.