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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


Naomi Judd

Country Music Artist and Social Advocate

And one night, I handed her an old flanky guitar, just so we could keep from killing each other, and something magical happened when I handed her that guitar. I said, "Hmm, very interesting." She just acted like it was an appendage of herself, and she would sit, literally for hours, hunkered over this thing, and I went, "Hmm. Now, if I was to participate with her, what would happen?" And really, it was that natural in evolution. There was never any epiphany where you went, "Bingo, I've got it. We'll go to Nashville and be country singers." We were just trying to communicate with each other.
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Naomi Judd

Country Music Artist and Social Advocate

So that as we lived in a splendid isolation on this hilltop in Morrill, Kentucky, I was doing it for a multitude of reasons. One was to sort of decompress and demystify the Hollywood thing -- you know, the artifice, the greed, the commercialization -- just sort of to turn down the background noise. I needed the solitude definitely for my studies, and I really wanted the girls to understand their Appalachian heritage. I had already been hip to it my whole life, but I really wanted them to understand this very rich legacy that they had. And this was just such fertile ground for them to each tap into that intuition that gets beat out of kids these days. So when I took away all of this overstimulation and they really had to hear their own inner voices and open up, like I said, Wynonna was 12 and Ashley was eight at that point, and Ashley, frankly, didn't need music to communicate. She was one of these popular, well-rounded, "straight A" kind of kids, very autonomous. So I handed her a book, and the same thing happened. She began to develop a fantasy life with the written page.
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Hamid Karzai

Former President of Afghanistan

Wherever I go in Afghanistan, I have this feeling, wherever I go. Even when I went to a northern province some three months ago, when there was an earthquake, an earthquake that had totally destroyed the northern part of a town, completely, even then, at that time, when I asked people, "What more can I do for you?" nobody responded. And I said again to them, about 4,400 of them, I said again, "What more can I do for you?" Nobody responded. And then the third time, when I insisted, somebody got up and said, "Nothing for our daily life," or nothing to ameliorate our present situation, "But the future. We want the future to be all right." That was very important.
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Hamid Karzai

Former President of Afghanistan

They never ask me for food. They never ask me for help for their daily lives. They always ask for help for the future, for the future of Afghanistan. That is what we are concentrating on, a good future for the Afghan people. And that future has begun with our children going to school. For me, the happiest moments of my life are when I go out in the morning sometimes, some places and I see children going to school. That has been possible because of the help that America gave, because of the help the international community gave, and I thank you very much for that.
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Anthony Kennedy

Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Lawyers, judges, law professors talk all the time about stare decisis. If you want to say something important, we use Latin because it makes it sound more important. Stare decisis means that you're bound by what previous judges have decided, unless it's very wrong and very important, and then you have to depart from that precedent and that's a major event in the law. But essentially, you're bound by stare decisis. When I went on the court, I thought, "Well, this is not very interesting. It's antiquarian. It's like historical research." I thought I'd be like a scientist putting together an explanation for an experiment that had failed, and I go back and say, "Well, you did this wrong or you did that," and I was interested in it because I love the law, but I thought it was rather limiting. I was quite mistaken. Really, the dynamic of being bound by precedent, the so called stare decisis, is very forward-looking, because it teaches you that you will be bound by what you do. You're the first person that will be bound by what you do, and if you're on a court which reviews other courts, they will all be bound by what you do. So, there is really a very forward-looking dynamic to judging. You must ask yourself, to the extent that you can without being imprecise, "How will my judgment play out in the future?" And, there's a lot of looking out the window in that job.
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Anthony Kennedy

Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

We went to Bangkok, I think it was three and a half weeks after the tsunami. It was 400 miles from where the tragedy had occurred, and the Buddhist people are very quiet and introspective themselves, and didn't want to talk much about the specific tragedy. But, I talked there with a priest who had been working with the victims of the tsunami. And he used the method pioneered by the psychologist Robert Coles, who would talk to little children, and he'd give them a blank sheet of paper and some crayons and ask the child to draw while they were talking. As if, in this interview, you were asking me to draw something, and he would -- he worked with 10 and 12-year-old, 13-year-old kids who had lost everything -- their brothers, their sisters, their parents, their homes -- and he gave that kid four pieces of paper, and at first he said, "Draw what your life was - your parents, your brothers, your sisters, your house. And the second one was, "Draw the tsunami because you have to confront evil and the forces of nature which have injured you and somehow come to grips with it. You can't repress this, so draw the tsunami, draw the event." And the fourth paper, of course, was "Draw what you'd like your life to be." But the third paper was the hardest, and that's "Draw the present. Draw the present." These kids had a particularly difficult problem in drawing the present, because it was a completely changed environment they had to adjust to. But, it occurred to me that maybe it's the hardest for all of us to draw the present. We'd probably make a mistake when we predict the future, but at least we're confident that we know what it ought to be like, what we want it to be like. And, judges have to understand that they have to, in part, deal with the present.
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Anthony Kennedy

Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Sometimes people think compromise means squishy, centrist. It doesn't. The whole idea of a democratic society is that there must be a consensus, and it's a consensus that should be based on rational dialogue. I'm not sure that mass politics with modern communications has yet found a way to have a quiet, rational dialogue. I'm not quite sure we've found the key to that. But, we not only have to do that in our own society, we must not become a hostile, factious, divisive society. We must be a society that has a broad consensus on certain very fundamental values, and we must do that because after we build bridges of understanding with ourselves, we have to build bridges of understanding with the rest of the world. I was talking to some students around the turn of the century. I guess it would be 1999, I think, and some student raised his hand and said, "What are the great issues of the next millennium?" Or the next 100 years. It was something I should have had an answer for, after dinner table conversation or something, in reflection, but I didn't. It caught me by surprise. So, I came up with an answer. I said, "We have the great challenge and the first duty to build bridges of understanding with the world of Islam." And I got more letters from that comment -- it was on C-Span -- than anything I've ever said. Thousands of letters saying, "Why?" People saying -- and it struck me that there's a void there. We're in a struggle in which our security will depend on ideas. The idea of freedom, if accepted by most of the rest of the world, is our best security. And, we must build bridges of understanding to explain the principles of freedom. And, I'm not sure that we're doing a very good job at the moment.
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