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Mario Molina

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

It's a conscious decision that Sherry Rowland and I did, not just to communicate our findings to other scientists, but to actually try to do something about it. In some sense that was taking a risk. Of course, the signs of the ozone layer and the effects of industrial chemicals was not nearly as well established at that time as it is now. We were just convinced that it was very important to find out. On the other hand, we were taking a risk, in that it's not a normal role expected of scientists. Our peers were perhaps questioning whether we were just seeking publicity or not. But again, we thought it was not important enough just to preserve our image in the scientific community, compared to what we really thought we had to do, which is to find out more about the problem and let the governments know more about it, so that eventually some action could be taken. And that's indeed what happened.
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Scott Momaday

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Scott Momaday: Fix your sight upon something and then go after it, and try not to be deflected. You have something that most of us don't have and that is time. You have time in which to deliberate, time in which to reflect, time in which to determine who you are. Use it. Don't panic. A lot of kids tend to panic, but I say just take it easy. But go for something. Move positively towards some goal that you would like to achieve. Always think, ask yourself how you would like to be known. Don't let yourself be determined by others. And this is especially true where young people are concerned, because everybody wants to determine them. And they have very few defenses against that. So I say, for God's sake, you know, don't let other people tell you who you are. If I had let people tell me who I was, I would have dropped back there somewhere. Determine who you are, and don't let anybody else do it for you. That's the best advice I can give a young person.
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Greg Mortenson

Best-Selling Author, Three Cups of Tea

Greg Mortenson: After we were on K2 for about ten weeks, everybody else had left. I was just there with three other climbers, and I really wanted to get to the top. I pushed myself way beyond the physical and emotional limits. And it wouldn't make sense at that point to really keep on trying to get to the top. It's kind of like going on a 400-mile journey with 200 miles (worth) of gas. Going up to the top at the beginning, it was almost as if I felt my sister there. And I also visualized -- I really believe in visualization when you set your goals -- so I visualized putting that amber necklace on the top. But I also, as it got more and more difficult, I started thinking. I kept wondering, "How much is this going to take?" And at one point before I started to turn down, I even thought, "I can probably get to the top. I may die, but that's okay, because I'll make my goal." And then when I came down from that -- you kind of go up and down -- when I realized I had been so focused on getting to the top, I really hadn't focused on the bigger goal, that Christa certainly wouldn't want me to die just to climb a mountain in her honor. It was on September 3rd actually. I remember this very vividly. I was carrying some rope up the mountain. And I was up, I was pretty high. And I suddenly realized, I really need to go down, and it's okay to go down. But I felt in my mind as if I'd failed. And I had to come to terms with that.
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