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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


Antonia Novello

Former Surgeon General of the United States

The American dream continues because every time that I speak, somebody believes that they can be me. Little kid, little island, a good pushy mother we all have, almost a mother that took care of you alone. Twenty-five percent of our population do that, single mothers taking care of their kids. But, more important, not rich, not poor -- normal American citizen making it to the top without political connections. Now the kids want to be somebody. And when they look at the Surgeon General of 1990, it's feasibly possible that they can be me. Not for what I have accomplished, but because of the life that I lived that is equal to so many out there. And I'm someone that they can touch and say, "Hey, she did it. Absolutely. I can too."
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Antonia Novello

Former Surgeon General of the United States

If you do not know where you're going, you are already there. The second thing is the world owes you nothing. To believe that the world will get you everything you want because you're a good kid and you studied is like believing that a bull is not going to hit you because you're a vegetarian. So, you must be able to do good. The third one is take a stand and believe in something. And those were the words of Goethe. Goethe said, "The hottest space in hell will be saved for those that during the time of conflict decided to stay neutral." So take a stand. But the most important one is number four, which is what has been said many times by some members of the academy. Service is the rent you pay for living, and that service is what sets you apart. Service to God, to the country, to the community, and to yourself. But most importantly, service. So, when you do all those four, absolutely the American dream will be found, and you will be part of it.
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Joyce Carol Oates

National Book Award

Joyce Carol Oates: My parents inspired me by their example. They both grew up in the Depression, and both of them had to quit school when they were quite young to work, because there actually was no choice. So, though they're intelligent people -- and my father in particularly is interested in books and has subsequently, since his retirement, attended classes at the University of Buffalo -- nonetheless, they didn't have any opportunity to be educated. So they've always impressed me with their resilience, their good spirits, their courage. It wasn't an easy life, and I won't go into details, but there were a lot of problems. And yet they were never defeated.
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Joyce Carol Oates

National Book Award

To the Puritans who came from England, America was a land of complete newness. And they were going to establish God's colony in the wilderness. And so the dream of the America was a religious dream, basically. America is a very religious nation. Not a mono-religious nation because there are many different strands of belief, but there's something about this nation that inspires people, or perhaps draws people, who are strongly idealistic. And even though they may be multimillionaires, ultimately, and they may be capitalists and very pragmatic and materialist in their methods, yet they seem to be stimulated by idealism. And they seem to carry with them these seeds of religion.
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Pierre Omidyar

Founder and Chairman, eBay

Pierre Omidyar: I look at it as a deep and heavy responsibility, in fact, to make sure that that wealth goes to good use, because it's very simple. An enormous amount of wealth has been created in this business, even in my business, and it is unmeasurable. My personal wealth is far beyond what any normal human being will ever need in their lifetime for themselves, for their family, for their descendants for generations. You know, a small, small piece of what I have is enough for that. And so the rest of it, I don't want to see it go to waste. So I have a responsibility to make sure it's put to good use. And you know, I feel I'm benefiting from the market success of a great business that has been built by regular, ordinary people who are logging on every day and doing business with one another. And you know, that's something that I have to give back. I have to do it. I have to make sure that that wealth is put to good use.
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Pierre Omidyar

Founder and Chairman, eBay

If we can help people reconnect with their communities, I think we can work together as a global community and solve the world's problems. You know, it's a bit idealistic, but we're really looking for second order effects in what we're doing. In other words, if we can just get people to just reconnect with their community. Just realize that you're an individual, but you have a responsibility to be part of your community, and that responsibility is not just a burden, but it also comes with benefits that are real tangible benefits that you'll see, being a part of that community. Then just think, if everyone thought like that, you could actually tackle local community problems, homelessness, health care. I mean, just serious problems, and you could tackle global problems as well, because we now have -- again we have a global communications medium, and communities are being built, not just in the real world but in the virtual world as well. So I'm very hopeful that the reconnection with community that I -- actually, frankly, I first became passionate about it because of eBay -- because I saw it happen on eBay, I am very hopeful that that reconnection is going to dramatically improve the world.
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