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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Anthony Romero

Executive Director, ACLU

Anthony Romero: The folks who inspired me the most were my parents. My father spoke very poor English, finished the fourth grade in Puerto Rico. My mother speaks great English, but is too shy to speak it. But yet they always made me believe that I could make a difference, and that I could achieve things that they could not. And there was nothing that was not attainable for me. So they give me enormous love and support and push and drive, and I would not be here today without my mom and my dad.
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Anthony Romero

Executive Director, ACLU

Anthony Romero: The American Dream is about you deciding what it is you want with your life. It's about seeing all the potential. It's about making very personal decisions over how we're going to spend our lives and how we're going to think about the world. It's about having full, unfettered ability to think about what we care about and what we do. And of course, there are limits over our ability to affect other individuals, but it's the idea that the person is sovereign over his or her own body, and that anything is possible. The American Dream gets described as someone who comes from humble beginnings and makes it to the top. And I've been lucky in the fact that I started out from a humble background, with great family, and Lord knows I never imagined I would be here talking with you today. So having gone to the best schools, and leading a remarkable organization like the one I lead, is living the American Dream. But the American Dream is every day. The American Dream is being able to walk outside your door and not worry about government surveillance, not to worry about where the next paycheck comes, to be able to think about the potential, the possibility, the learning. So the American Dream is all about possibility. It's about dreaming. That's why it's called the dream. It's the American Dream, it's not "the American Promise," it's the American Dream. What do you dare dream? What can you imagine in your mind's eye? What will you do? You can daydream. You can live the dream. You can act the dream. You can make the dream come true. And it's so much greater than anything we've ever been able to describe. It's not about the next good job, it's not about the next promotion, it's not about the next fancy car. The American Dream is about potential of the human spirit, that anyone can do it. That even the most humble among us have a lot to offer and contribute and can dream.
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Anthony Romero

Executive Director, ACLU

At the end of the day, America is about a great many things. We are not a people sharing a common language, we are not a people sharing a common religion, we are not a people sharing a common ethnicity or race. We are a people sharing a common dream, a dream that each of us decides individually, but a dream of potential, a dream of change. A dream of achievement, of achieving whatever it is we want. That perfect little sonnet, that big paycheck, that being the greatest mom in the world, that being a committed father or a committed husband. That dream each of us gets to decide for ourselves. And that the law should be a way to help us achieve that dream and not be an impediment. That these things transcend us, and that we're not asking people to buy into someone else's definition of what is right or wrong, but to recognize that each of us has the ability to decide for ourselves what is right for ourselves. That it is our collective efforts to unleash that potential in everyone. And that is the America we know and love. That's the America that is still very much alive and well. Even though our politics doesn't reflect the good-hearted nature -- the optimistic nature, the tenacious underdog nature of the American spirit -- that spirit is there. That spirit is there in people, in our clients, in our cases, and the communities, and that's what we have to unleash. Because our leaders don't lead, our leaders follow, and we need them to follow our sense of optimism and hope and change. And not for it to be a very cynical or selfish way of thinking about the world, but to really say that the rising tide will raise my boat, and I want my neighbor's boat to be fully upright in the water. That makes me proud about the country I live in, because that's who we are. To touch into that again, I think, is the great promise of America.
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James Rosenquist

Pop Art Master

James Rosenquist: Always, in the back of your mind, plan a special place where you'd like to be. Whether it's mental or physical, for some time in the future, a kind of surroundings you'd like, the kind of life you think you can imagine. The ideal kind of place you would like to live. An ideal kind of work, something like that. So that, for instance, it seems that one's life is always dictated by things. It could be fate, it could be your boss, it could be any kind of thing. And to overcome that by feeling or saying that I know that when I am a little bit older I know where it's going to take me, but I am going to be in a different place than I am now. I don't know if I will like it, but I will wake up there. It's hard to explain. I mean, not hard to explain, it's a rather self-conscious idea about changing yourself from the outside in, or the inside out. And at least knowing you will be in a different environment, or a better place, something like that. It's naïve to think that young suicidal people could just jump on a plane and go somewhere that's nice, and their problems would be solved. But there is a lot of say about environment and peers, peers and environment, which seem to be a dead end. And if one can imagine a place that they might like, they can build it or make it. I think they can fabricate it.
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Jonas Salk

Developer of Polio Vaccine

I felt myself very much like someone in the eye of a hurricane because all this swirling was going on around me. It was at that moment that everything changed. It was Edward R. Murrow, the journalist and newscaster that said to me that evening, "Young man, a great tragedy has just befallen you." I said, "What's that, Ed?" He said, "You've just lost your anonymity."
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