More Words That Matter

Published: July 3, 2020

By Jim Lichtman
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Amid multiple crises, Independence Day is a good a time to refresh with words that inspire, motivate, and define who we are, not by political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or religion, but a country established by immigrants seeking liberty.

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.” ― John F. Kennedy

“The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.” ― George Washington

“Honesty is first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson

“I think the first duty of society is justice.” – Alexander Hamilton

“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” ― James Madison

“Power always thinks that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws.” – John Adams

“On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” ― Thomas Jefferson

“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” ― John Quincy Adams

“No person was ever honored for what he earned. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge

“Times change, and we change with them.” – William Henry Harrison

“An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory.” – Millard Filmore

“Government for the people must depend for its success on the intelligence, the morality, the justice, and the interest of the people themselves.” – Grover Cleveland

“If you always support the correct principles then you will never get the wrong results!” – Andrew Johnson

“Right reason is stronger than force.” – James Garfield

“In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest.” – William McKinley

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”       ― Harry S. Truman

“Peace is not the absence of conflict; it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” – Ronald Reagan.

“Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.” ― Herbert Hoover

“One man with courage makes a majority.” ― Andrew Jackson

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

“There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power.” ― William Henry Harrison

“No matter what time it is, wake me, even if it’s in the middle of a Cabinet meeting.” – Ronald Reagan

“We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.” ― Bill Clinton

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress” ― Barack Obama

“I am a slow walker, but I never walk backwards.” ― Abraham Lincoln

“If not us, who? If not now, when?” – President John F. Kennedy


  1. Wow Jim, all great quotes.One of my favorites: “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

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