John F. Kennedy lived a brief yet quite inspirational life. He was the 35th President of the United States and served January 1961 till November 1963. He was the youngest president to die when he assassinated on November 22, 1963. Though he just gets to serve a little more than a thousand years in office, Kennedy still showcased his genius, brilliance, and utmost leadership through his motivational and courageous words. Here you will get to know a little through the inspirational quotes of John F. Kennedy on different aspects of life.
? Kennedy’s Love for Art and Culture
John F. Kennedy wholeheartedly understood the importance of the boom of art and culture. And he emphasized the matter on numerous occasions. Here is a glimpse of Kennedy’s love for the arts.
• Kennedy firmly believed that true talent must be appreciated as he said, “If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.”
• On November 29, 1962, at a Closed-circuit Television Broadcast on Behalf of the National Cultural Center, he remarked “…I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or politics, but our contribution to the human spirit.” And he believed that this can only be done through various forms of arts.
• In his speech at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. on 14 June 1956, Kennedy said, “If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live.” This shows his widened exposure into the world of kind-hearted and intelligent poets.
• Upon receiving an Honorary Degree at Amherst College on October 26, 1963, Kennedy said, “I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft.” For any nation to develop in the right direction and prosper in every field, it is important to give equal importance to both arts and science.
• While giving an interview to the “LOOK magazine, ‘The Arts in America’ on December 18, 1962, Kennedy said, “To further the appreciation of culture among all the people, to increase respect for the creative individual, to widen participation by all the processes and fulfillments of art – this is one of the fascinating challenges of these days” Surely, the most important field for the development has always remained science, but it is vital to give equal importance to arts as well to build a good nation. Building interest in the public in the field of arts is extremely important in this regard.
• In the same interview to the “LOOK magazine, ‘The Arts in America’ Kennedy said, “The life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, in the life of a nation, is very close to the center of a nation’s purpose…and is a test of the quality of a nation’s civilization.” His words were right on point. No nation can be considered civilized unless or until it has a wide interest in the field of arts.
• Miss Theodate Johnson, Publisher of Musical America sent a letter to both presidential candidates of that time to discuss their views on the music and arts, thus to understand respective Federal Government ideas in dealing with domestic affairs and world affairs. In response to this letter, then-senator Kennedy wrote, “There is a connection, hard to explain logically but easy to feel, between achievement in public life and progress in the arts. The age of Pericles was also the age of Phidias. The age of Lorenzo de Medici was also the age of Leonardo da Vinci. The age of Elizabeth also the age of Shakespeare. And the New Frontier for which I campaign in public life can also be a New Frontier for American art” Kennedy’s letter was dated September 13, 1960, and the response was published in the October issue of the respective magazine.
? Kennedy on Preaching Peace and Arms Control
The inspirational quotes of John F. Kennedy on different aspects of life are incomplete without portraying his views on the arms control and spread of peace all around the globe. He strived hard to preach and settle peace and signed important deals to end the war in the region.
• On July 26, 1963, Kennedy addressed the American People through Radio and Television and talked about the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. In this address, Kennedy said, “My fellow Americans, let us take that first step. Let us…step back from the shadow of war and seek out the way of peace. And if that journey is a thousand miles, or even more, let history record that we, in this land, at this time, took the first step.” One just needs to take the first hard step with all the right intentions and the goal of success and prosperity can be achieved.
• On September 25, 1961, in his address at the United Nations General Assembly, Kennedy said, “Every man, woman, and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us . . . The logical place to begin is a treaty assuring the end of nuclear tests of all kinds . . .” For Kennedy, equal distribution of human rights was a must and he always emphasized this point, no matter where he was standing. And the biggest threat to humankind has been nuclear power. In this address, he emphasized the practice of abandoning all the nuclear operations.
• In the President’s News Conference held on March 21, 1963, Kennedy preached spread of peace by saying, “With all of the histories of war, and the human race’s history, unfortunately, has been a good deal more war than peace, with nuclear weapons distributed all through the world, and available, and the strong reluctance of any people to accept defeat, I see the possibility in the 1970s of the President of the United States having to face a world in which 15 or 20 or 25 nations may have these weapons.” He foresaw the future at such a young age. With such a high-level distribution of deathly weapons along with several nations making their own, the world surely doesn’t seem the safe and peaceful place to live in.
• In his address to the American People on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty on July 26, 1963, at The White House, Washington, D.C., Kennedy said “Yesterday a shaft of light cut into the darkness. Negotiations were concluded in Moscow on a treaty to ban all nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and underwater . . . it is an important first step — a step toward peace — a step towards reason — a step away from war.” The list of inspirational quotes of John F. Kennedy on different aspects of life is incomplete without adding his lifelong emphasis on the development of peace and the end of the war.
? Kennedy’s Genius Thoughts on Economics
While encompassing the inspirational quotes of John F. Kennedy on different aspects of life, it is impossible to leave his brilliance on the economical and financial matters. His views on this matter were exceptionally brilliant, to the point and practical.
• In the Question and Answer Period at the Economic Club of New York on December 14, 1962, Kennedy answered to a question saying, “It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.” Kennedy understood the utmost importance of a stable economy and kept it above the political issues.
• In the same question and answer session, Kennedy said in answer to a question, “If the economy of today were operating close to capacity levels with little unemployment, or if a sudden change in our military requirements should cause a scramble for men and resources, then I would oppose tax reductions as irresponsible and inflationary; and I would not hesitate to recommend a tax increase if that were necessary.” He was bold, brave, and practical in his decisions especially when it comes to economical balance of the country and that is what he told there.
• On February 2, 1961, Kennedy said in a Special Message to Congress: Program for Economic Recovery and Growth, “The Federal Budget can and should be made an instrument of prosperity and stability, not a deterrent to recovery.” The stable financial balance of a country must be reflected through its budget. And if an economy is going strong then it must be able to give relief to the people and stability to the system.
• John F. Kennedy was clear in the distinctive roles of the military, and government and knew that both must stay hand in hand for the prosperity and safety of the people. He said, “By calling attention to ‘a well-regulated militia,’ ‘the security of the nation,’ and the right of each citizen ‘to keep and bear arms,’ our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy… The Second Amendment remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country. For that reason, I believe the Second Amendment will always be important.” There he put stress on the second amendment while sharing his views on its importance.
• While sharing his point of view regarding taxation system of the country, Kennedy once said, “The tax on capital gains directly affects investment decisions, the mobility and flow of risk capital from static to more dynamic situations, the ease or difficulty experienced by new ventures in obtaining capital, and thereby the strength and potential for growth of the economy.” And with that, he played a great role in uplifting America’s economy.
• To educate the nation about the vitality of the increment of the revenue, he said, “It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues, in the long run, is to cut the rates now Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.” And this is the basics of any economy.
• Taxation increment has always remained a thick topic in America and almost every president had to take the nation in confidence in this regard. Kennedy said, “Our practical choice is not between a tax-cut deficit and a budgetary surplus. It is between two kinds of deficits: a chronic deficit of inertia, as the unwanted result of inadequate revenues and a restricted economy; or a temporary deficit of transition, resulting from a tax cut designed to boost the economy, increase tax revenues, and achieve — and I believe this can be done — a budget surplus. The first type of deficit is a sign of waste and weakness; the second reflects an investment in the future.” This helped people understand the financial situation and what was needed to be done.
? Kennedy on Civil Rights Movement
Civil rights had remained one of the prioritized issues in the eyes of Kennedy. And there is a lot to learn from his quotes for every one of us today. The inspirational quotes of John F. Kennedy on different aspects of life as a civil rights activist are educational, motivational, and truly depict his insight on this matter.
• No nation can rise unless it gives equal rights to its people. Kennedy said, “Difficulties over segregation and discrimination exist in every city, in every state of the union, producing in many cities a rising tide of discontent that threatens the public safety. Nor is this a partisan issue. In a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics. This is not even a legal or legislative issue alone. It is better to settle these matters in the courts than on the streets, and new laws are needed at every level, but law alone cannot make men see right. We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the Scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution.”
• Kennedy was a strong believer that without giving equal rights to the people of color America cannot succeed. He said, “Today, we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. … It ought to be possible, in short, for every American to enjoy the privileges of being American without regard to his race or his color.”
• Kennedy hoped to make the United States of America a free place to live for every American, regardless of race, color, or gender. He said, “This is one country. It has become one country because all of us and all the people who came here had an equal chance to develop their talents. We cannot say to ten percent of the population that you can’t have that right; that your children cannot have the chance to develop whatever talents they have; that the only way that they are going to get their rights is to go in the street and demonstrate. I think we owe them and we owe ourselves a better country than that.” Hopefully, the American nation would surpass all the differences it is facing today and achieve peace and harmony as dreamt by Kennedy.
? Kennedy Pondering on National Interest
All his life John F. Kennedy did his best to take action on things which are in the great national interest. Here are the inspirational quotes of John F. Kennedy on different aspects of life particularly discussing the issue of national interest.
• In the Commencement Address at American University in Washington, D.C. held on June 10, 1963, Kennedy said, “And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” National interest is the most important issue of concern and every other thing comes after that.
• One must be proud of its country and must always remain faithful. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Our country is our identity and it is not easy to earn identity.
• In a special message to the Congress on Conservation on March 1, 1962, Kennedy said, “Our deep spiritual confidence that this nation will survive the perils of today – which may well be with us for decades to come – compels us to invest in our nation’s future, to consider and meet our obligations to our children and the numberless generations that will follow.” When whole nations work and think together as one, its success is inevitable.
• While reporting to the American People on the Soviet Arms Build-up in Cuba on October 22, 1962, Kennedy said, “Our goal is not the victory of might but the vindication of right…not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this hemisphere, and, we hope, around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved.” He was sure of his country’s success and development in the long run.
? Tips on Leading a Successful Life by John F. Kennedy
The following inspirational quotes of John F. Kennedy on different aspects of Life particularly portray Kennedy’s genius approach to leading a happy and prosperous life. Here are a few of the most amazing quotes of John F. Kennedy on living a peaceful life.
• “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”
• “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
• “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.”
• “The human mind is our fundamental resource.”
• “The greater our knowledge increases the more our ignorance unfolds.”
• “A man does what he must – despite personal consequences, despite obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.”
? Kennedy on Successful and Inspirational Leadership
John F. Kennedy was a great leader. In the short period of his tenure, Kennedy showcased the brilliance of his personality in everything. His leadership skills were marvelous and one can learn a lot from the life he led in the office. A few of his most inspirational quotes on leaderships are,
• “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
• “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
• “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.”
• “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.”
• “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.”
We hope that you must have learned a lot from these Inspirational Quotes of John F. Kennedy on different aspects of Life. He was an extraordinary leader who played an impressive part in the development of the United States. He spoke with people belonging to almost all walks of life.