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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


Sanford Weill

Financier and Philanthropist

I think one of the greatest periods in my life is when I decided to leave American Express, because most people don't get to know what people really think about them when they're alive. And you know, you always wonder, "Are people friendly with you -- or people paying attention to you, they make believe they like you -- because of your position and what you can do for them?" And I think what was really great is that when I left I didn't have this position of power at American Express. And the first thing that was important about that was it helped my relationship with my children a lot, because they always looked at me as this person that could never do anything wrong, and therefore they couldn't contribute. And all of a sudden, they saw their father was vulnerable, and it helped create more of an equal kind of relationship with each other, where we respect each other a lot, and that was a very, very important thing that happened.
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Elie Wiesel

Nobel Prize for Peace

You can be a silent witness, which means silence itself can become a way of communication. There is so much in silence. There is an archeology of silence. There is a geography of silence. There is a theology of silence. There is a history of silence. Silence is universal and you can work within it, within its own parameters and its own context, and make that silence into a testimony. Job was silent after he lost his children and everything, his fortune and his health. Job, for seven days and seven nights he was silent, and his three friends who came to visit him were also silent. That must have been a powerful silence, a brilliant silence. You see, silence itself can be testimony and I was waiting for ten years, really, but it wasn't the intention. My intention simply was to be sure that the words I would use are the proper words. I was afraid of language.
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Elie Wiesel

Nobel Prize for Peace

Therefore, all my adult life, since I began my life as an author, or as a teacher, I always try to listen to the victim. In other words, if I remain silent, I may help my own soul but, because I do not help other people, I poison my soul. Silence never helps the victim. It only helps the victimizer. Faith? I think of the killer and I lose all faith. But then I think of the victim and I am inundated with compassion.
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Lenny Wilkens

Basketball Hall of Fame

My dad died when I was five so I always had to have a job after school. Even though I enjoyed sports, the job was first. And, of course, education was even more so. My mother really pushed for us, you know, to get a good education and two things she always said was, you know, "You always have to be accountable for what you say and what you do." And the other thing she told me was that honesty and integrity had to define your character.
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Lenny Wilkens

Basketball Hall of Fame

My mother had to raise us by herself, and it was a very difficult time. But at that time growing up in Brooklyn, you know, baseball was very popular and everyone in the neighborhood -- we were all sort of into sports and we all played baseball. I used to go to the games quite a bit and at that time I saw a young player by the name of Jackie Robinson, who was the first Afro-American to play major league baseball. I began to watch him and I saw things about his character that I really liked. And one, he was never intimidated by anybody; two, he never made excuses for himself. He came to play every game. He was a man on the field and off the field. What I mean by "off the field," you know, his family, business, all these things. And he became my role model.
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Lenny Wilkens

Basketball Hall of Fame

I saw prejudice in the world, and it bothered me that the Church didn't speak out against it more forcefully. It does today, but it didn't at that time. And I have a lot of people I know who turned away from the Church or were upset, you know, and everything. But in turning away they turned away from God too, and I said, "Wait a minute, you know. God gives us free will to do what we want to do. Okay? So why should I indict him for something some human being is doing?" And so I refused to do that, you know. But I was disappointed in a lot of people who were in the Church, okay, because of them not speaking out, and even their attitudes.
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Lenny Wilkens

Basketball Hall of Fame

I was in my economics class, it was a theory class, and the professor was this Dominican Father named Father Kirk, who was a wonderful guy. And being "W," Wilkens, I was always in the back somewhere. And so I'm watching him as he's asking questions, and I see him skip over this one student, and he goes asking questions, and he skips over another student. And so he's doing this, and so he gets to the back row and there's a kid named Ray Weber who was a great baseball player sitting next to me, and he skips over Ray, and he skips over me. And I stood up and I said, "Wait a minute. What's going on?" I said, "Don't we get a chance to answer questions?" You know? And he started laughing, you know. I guess maybe I was the first one to do that. But I had studied. I knew those answers. I wanted to answer the questions. So, I began to realize that "athletes were great athletes but they weren't very smart." And so I was going to prove them wrong. And, you know, they posted the dean's list, guys who made the dean's list, and everybody saw it. And so I made sure that I made the dean's list every year and that I was in the top third of my class. You know, I took it as a challenge but I felt very strongly about it. "We're students, too, and we need to be treated that way." So, I made sure I could compete in the classroom as well as on the basketball court.
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