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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


Sonny Rollins

Greatest Living Jazz Soloist

I'm dissatisfied and I'm always striving. There's musicians that I know who are more talented than me, and more gifted than me. They don't have to do that, they can just And a lot of guys have learned their craft and they get to a place, and they are satisfied, and the stuff they do is great. So it's an individual thing. In my case, my thing is constantly looking for something else. I'm not satisfied yet. I know there is more there. I don't think I have expressed myself yet really, but every now and then, a few times a year, I have a tremendous concert where I really feel that I am beginning to break the barrier and really get into a deeper spiritual place, and it happens. When it happens, then, "Wow! I'm right. There is something else. There is something more than what is here."
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Anthony Romero

Executive Director, ACLU

I think we have to keep tapping into those basic notions of what is fair, of what is right, what is good, what should be a part of the social compact. Sometimes we attach it to laws and regulations or politics or political parties, and that is often the wrong source. Because those are always up for grabs and up for debate, or being put down or denigrated. But when you're tapping into the best of the human spirit, "Why is this important? Why is it important that we allow people to be involved in loving, committed relationships recognized by the law?" Even if I'm very heavily religious, and I don't believe that I would want my kid to be gay or marry another same-sex partner, as an American I want the law to recognize people's decisions, and to value their decisions and to value their rights. And to make sure that when you have a committed loving couple that made the decisions for themselves, that the law should not treat them like strangers. That they should have the full protections of the law, just like my mom and dad did. When we make those arguments that way -- and not political arguments, and not arguments that deal with the partisan politics -- but deal with the very basic nucleus of why is this right. Even if it's not right for you, is it right for someone else? If it might be right for someone else, then is it right for you not to let that other person live life that way? I think that's the conversation we need to have more and more.
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Anthony Romero

Executive Director, ACLU

Anthony Romero: Lawyers are not normally known as being creative people. But you know what? We are, we are. We are about creating rights and creating opportunities where they don't exist. We are about looking at the most serious systemic structural barriers and trying to find a solution. We are about envisioning a world not that is, but that should be. So when you look at a social problem and you say, "Okay, why are the schools delivering such poor educational outcomes for our kids?" And as a lawyer you come in and say, "Okay, how are we going to solve it? How do we make sure that there is more money going to the poor classrooms and that the teachers are better trained, that there are better resources for students, that we equalize between the rich schools and the poor schools?" You have to approach this with creativity. You have to approach this with a sense of possibility.
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Anthony Romero

Executive Director, ACLU

I think there is a certain level of cynicism, certainly in our politics. Our politicians too often talk about the realpolitik of making politics. "That's just the way it is, nothing we can do to change it." That we have to worry about the folks who can succeed, and focus less on the folks who can't. I think part of what we have to do is to recommit ourselves, that each and every single person in America is a precious person, whether they are an immigrant or a citizen, whether a woman or a man, whether they are gay or straight, whether they are physically able or disabled. That there is a preciousness of the human existence and that we all have a responsibility to cultivate that in each other, that we are the farmers of that American Dream. That it's not enough about me growing my own little crop right here, that I am responsible for making sure that the crops of my neighbors grow. That's the promise of America. And that you hear less and less. That you hear less and less in politics. That you hear in families. That you hear among friends. That you hear in local communities. But we really don't talk about the possible. We don't ever talk about tackling the impossible. We don't ever stretch our sights over what it is that we should accomplish, what makes us feel good.
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James Rosenquist

Pop Art Master

James Rosenquist: Sometimes a title might occur to me. And a title will just stick out in my mind. And then I will think in terms, everything I think of I will think in terms of that title. For instance, I did a painting called Four New Clear Women. It meant, if women became powerful, and they are, like women who own large stock in the stock market, or become president like Golda Meir or Margaret Thatcher or Indira Gandhi, will they be "New Clear Women" or "Nuclear Women?" Will they blow us up, or are they smart? Something like that. So, then I met -- there was this actress named Liv Ullmann, and she started painting. And she said, "Oh, what are you going to do next?" And I said, "I'm going to do The Persistence of Electrical Nymphs in Space." And she said, "Oh, what's that about?" and I said, "Well, that's the sound of all the souls after the earth blows up." And she says, "Oh, yeah." That was very she probably talked with Ingmar Bergman about that. But that was great. So those are titles that I would think about, before I would start working. Then, to think about how young people want to live in the future, too, is another interesting thing. People are animals, and still have all the vestigial I mean still have all the vestiges. I mean they have claws, fangs, ears, noses, just like animals you see running around here. And then you go to New York, I see beautiful girls that have claws, fangs, noses, everything. And I see they are very sophisticated, and they smell nice, but they are still animals. So I wonder, how will a young person like to live, in a really high-tech environment, like say in a rocket ship, or in an apartment, or a business place like that, or would they prefer to live a pastoral life, like little lambs in a meadow? Would they like that? So I think that's curious, what the future generations will select as an environment.
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James Rosenquist

Pop Art Master

My first inspirations, first starting, was that I thought I could devise a new space, from painting outdoor billboards in Times Square. And that was, as a kid I was subject to Rinso White commercials, early television commercials, our commercial society, which was quite unlike Russia, for instance. And I thought -- my job was to paint big pictures of movie stars, and to paint objects to sell, and if I could paint them really well, the company would sell them, and if I didn't, I'd get fired. I had to paint beer to look beautiful. I had to paint beautiful beer, beautiful shirts, beautiful everything. So a salesman would come in and say, "That beer's got too much hops in it. Tell that kid to change it. Gotta change it." So that only meant me making a slightly different color yellow, and repainting the whole damn thing slightly. So I'd take that beer with too much hops in it, that color, which was only yellow, I'd take that home with me. And I'd take Franco-American spaghetti orange, I'd take that home. Which was like red dye number 2 and yellow. I'd take that home and I'd make abstract paintings out of these. And then I thought, "Hey, I'll use imagery, magnified imagery that spilled out of the picture plane, and I'd set it up so the closest thing you would see would be recognized last, because it would be too personal, and it would irritate people. So that's how my so-called "Pop Art" paintings started. And I really used generic things, unlike say, Andy Warhol who used Campbell's Soup. I painted spaghetti, I painted soup, I painted hot dogs, jeans, I painted cars, all kinds of things, really generically. I didn't care about the labels.
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