The greatest gift . . . is the realization that life does not consist either of wallowing in the past or of peering anxiously at the future; and it is appalling to contemplate the great number of often painful steps by which one arrives at a truth so old, so obvious, and so frequently expressed. It is good for one to appreciate that life is now. Whatever it offers, little or much, life is now-this day-this hour.
If we have no faith in ourselves and in the kind of future we can create together, we are fit only to follow, not to lead. Let us remember that the Bible contains two proverbs we cannot afford to forget. The first is " Man does not live by bread alone " and the second is " Where there is no vision, the people perish."
Without free speech no search for truth is possible; without free speech progress is checked and the nations no longer march forward toward the nobler life which the future holds for man. Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial stays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race.
On the Fourth of July, 1826, America celebrated its Jubilee the Fiftieth Anniversary of Independence. John Adams, second President of the United States, died that day, aged ninety, while from Maine to Georgia bells rang and cannon boomed. And on that sameday, Thomas Jefferson died before sunset in Virginia. In their dying, in that swift, so aptly celebrated double departure, is something which shakes an American to the heart. It was not their great fame, their long lives or even the record of their work that made these two seem indestructible. It was their faith, their bounding, unquenchable faith in the future, their sure, immortal belief that mankind, if it so desired, could be free.