Any person who has the brains to think and the nerve to act for the benefit of the people of the country is considered a radical by those who are content with stagnation and willing to endure disaster.    
                                         -- Walter Cronkite

The future is not a gift, it is an achievement. -- Robert Kennedy

What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.  -- Micah 6:8

It is impossible for an exceptionally good man to be exceptionally rich. -- Plato

Success is that place in life's road where Preparation and Opportunity meet, but too few people recognize it, because it often comes disguised as Hard Work.  -- anon

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat."
                  -- Teddy Roosevelt

The “Leavenings” annotations here and throughout the platform have been selected at the whim of the Editor.  For useful collections of similar material, the reader should refer to the beautifully printed series of chapbooks “trotty Veck Messengers,” published at Saranac Lake, New York through the first half of the 20th century by two anonymous men wishing to spread encouragement and good cheer.  “trotty Veck” is a character in Dickens’ “The Chimes.”

The man who cannot settle in his mind where he ought to stand, but merely stays astride the fence, is certain to prove himself of little worth to either side.  But he alone will be of value who, though sometimes pressure may be brought to bear, knows in his heart where he should stand and then, despite the consequences, stands firmly there.
             -- Inez Clark Thorson
Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation: Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
           -- John Wooden
If these preachers get control of the [Republican] Party... it's going to be a terrible damn problem.
             -- Barry Goldwater
For some reason, the mosr vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes.  But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings.  And of course that's Moses, not Jesus.  I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.
               -- Kurt Vonnegut
Let go of the past and go for the future.  Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you imagined.
            -- Thoreau
Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't -- you're right.
                -- Henry Ford
Never argue with an idiot.  He'll bring you down to his level and beat you with his experience.
             -- anon
Keep your face to the sunshine, and you won't see the shadows.
             -- anon
All the things of this world are no more than earth.  Place them in a heap under your feet, and you will be so much the nearer to heaven.
                 -- Josemaria Escriva
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
         -- Saint Augustine
Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go, instead, where there is no path, and leave a trail.
               -- Emerson

Promise me you'll always remember:  You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
                            --  Christopher Robin speaking to Pooh Bear
True Success is to laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden path, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier, because you lived; this is to have succeeded.
                                 -- Ralph Waldo emerson
We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.
                                 -- Crittenden

To relieve the misfortunes of our fellow creatures is concuring with the Deity; it is godlike; but, if we provide encouragement for laziness, and supports for folly, may we not be found fighting against the order of God and Nature, which perhaps has appointed want and misery as proper punishment for, and cautions against, as well as necessary consequences of idleness and extravagance?  Whenever we attempt to amend the scheme of Providence, and to interfere with the government of the world, we had need be very circumspect, lest we do more harm than good.
                          -- Franklin

Social Justice implies that persons have an obligation to be active and productive participants in the life of society, and that society has a duty to enable them to participate in this way.
                                      -- U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops

It's amazing what you can accomplish, if you don't care who gets the credit.
                                    -- Harry Truman

Electile Dysfunction:  The inability to become aroused over any of the choices for President put forth by either of the major parties.
                              -- overheard

....democracy never lasts long.  It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.  There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
                         -- John Adams

Folks, all politics is applesauce.
         -- Will Rogers
Every person surely has a calling.  While attending to it, he serves God.
          --  Martin Luther
Learn to laugh at yourself, and you will never want for amusement.
           -- anon
Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
               -- Henry Ward Beecher

It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.
                   -- St. Francis of Assisi
Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be wrirten for us but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.
                 -- Barack Obama

The democracy wll cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
                      -- Thomas Jefferson
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
           -- Mahatma Ghandi
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
          -- Seneca the Younger
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
      -- Plato

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might do, by fearing to attempt.
                                                                                                -- Shakespeare

Adam in the Garden

Adam was moping around in the Garden of Eden, feeling very lonely.  God asked, “What is wrong with you.”  Adam told God that he had no one to talk to.  So, God told Adam that he would make him a companion, and that the companion would be a woman.
      God said, “This person will gather food for you and cook it for you.  When you discover clothing, she will wash your clothes for you.
      “She will always agree with every decision you make.
      “She will bear your children, and she will never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to care for them.
      “She will not nag at you, and she will always be the first to admit error when you’ve had a disagreement.
      “She will never ‘have a headache,’ and she will freely give you love and passion whenever you need it.”
      Adam asked God, “What will a woman like this cost?”
      God replied, “An arm and a leg.:”
      Wincing, Adam asked God, “What can I get for only a rib?”

            There is nothing I dread so much as a division of the Republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader and converting measures in opposition to each other…. How few aim at the good of the whole, without aiming too much at the prosperity of the parts.
     Our electioneering racers have started for the prize.  Such a whipping and spurring and huzzaing.  Through thick and thin, through mire and dirt, through bogs and fens and sloughs, dashing and splashing and crying out, the devil take the hindmost.  How long will it be possible that honor, truth, or virtue should be respected among a people who are engaged in such a quick and perpetual succession of such profligate collisions and conflicts.”

I Asked God
– Anon

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, “No.”
“Patience is a by-product of tribulation; it isn’t granted, it is earned.”

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, “No.”
“I give you blessings; happiness is up to you.”

I asked God to spare me pain.
            God said, “No.”
“Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, “No.”
You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
God said, “No.”
I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me love others, as much as he loves me.
God said….
“Ahhh, finally you have the idea!”

     Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.  Begin it now.
                            -- Goethe

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." -- John Quincy Adams

Many people succumb to the temptation to worship Mammon.  But look:
Money will Buy
A bed, but not sleep
Books, but not wisdom
Food, but not appetite
Finery, but not beauty
A house, but not a home
Medicine, but not health
Luxuries, but not culture
Amusements, but not happiness
Religiosity, but not inner peace
Take Care, What Gods You Choose!
                                                                      — submitted by John Heckman

"Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it."
     Benjamin Franklin

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but so often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”—Helen Keller 

“For, under God, we are determined that whatsoever, whensoever, or howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we will die free men.”—Josiah Quincy

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”—Thomas Paine

“The happiness of society is the end of government.”—John Adams 

“Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity and resolve to maintain the rights bequeathed to us from the former, for the sake of the latter.”—Samuel Adams 

They may see the good you do as self-serving.
     Continue to do good.
They may see your generosity as grandstanding.
     Continue to be generous.
They may see your warm and caring nature as weakness.
     Continue to be warm and caring.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them, anyway.

"Whatever Fortune brings, don't be afraid of doing things."
     — A.A. Milne, "King Hilary and the Beggarman"

"truth, Justice, and The Constitution" — John C. Calhoun

"All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better.  What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn?  What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice?  Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble"
Ralph Waldo emerson

"Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tommorrow." — anon

"Any person who has the brains to think and the nerve to act for the benefit of the people of the country is considered a radical by those who are content with stagnation and willing to endure disaster." — William Randolph Hearst

"We will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends."
Martin Luther King

"There is nothing more difficult to carry out, more doubtful of success, or more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things." —Niccolo Machiavelli

Excellence can be attained if you....

     Care more than others think wise
     Risk more than others think safe
     Dream more than others think practical
     Expect more than others think possible
                    — sent by T.J Ray

“ The surest signs of a healthy society are open and free debates.  We must  be able to agree to disagree.  In a democracy protecting the rights of our adversaries is as important and protecting the rights of our advocates.”
— Thomas Jefferson

“ I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.”
— Thomas Jefferson  
     “It is not the symphony of voices in sweet concert that I enjoy, but the cacaphony of democracy, the brouhahas and the donnybrooks, the full-throated roar of a free people busy using their right of freedom of speech.” — Molly Ivins

“All I want is the same thing you want:  To have a nation with a government that is as good and honest and decent and competent and compassionate and as filled with love as are the American people.” — Jimmy Carter

“There are those, I know, who will reply that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream ... they are right. It is the American dream.”
—Archibald MacLeish

Prohibitionists generally subscribe to the proposition that all human rights dervive, ultimately, from a Creator and not from man-made government. This idea was well stated by Senator Joseph Biden:

    "As a child of God, I believe my rights are not derived from the Constitution. My rights are not derived from any government. My rights are not derived from any majority. My rights are because I exist. They were given to me and each of my fellow citizens by our Creator and they represent the essence of human dignity."

“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint; therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.”—Reinhold Niebuhr.

William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance,
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears,
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years,
Finds, and shall, find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

—Shakespeare's "Macbeth," Act V

The Quitter, by Robert Service

When you're lost in the Wild, and you're scared as a child,
    And Death looks you bang in the eye,
And you're sore as a boil, it's according to Hoyle
    To cock your revolver and ... die.
But the Code of a Man says" `Fight all you can,'
    And self-dissolution is barred.
In hunger and woe, oh, it's easy to blow ...
    It's the hell-served-for-breakfast that's hard.

`You're sick of the game!' Well, now, that's a shame.
    You're young and you're brave and you're bright.
`You've had a raw deal!' I know -- but don't squeal,
    Buck up, do your damndest, and fight.
It's the plugging away that will win you the day,
    So don't be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit; it's so easy to quit:
    It's the keeping-your-chin-up that's hard.

It's easy to cry that you're beaten -- and die;
    It's easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope's out of sight --
    Why, that's the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each gruelling bout,
    All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try -- it's dead easy to die,
    It's the keeping-on-living that's hard.

“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from support of a cause we believe to be just.”Abraham Lincoln

Look to this day....
For it is Life, the very Life of Life,
In its brief course lie all the verities and
Realities of your existence:
The Bliss of Growth;
The Growth of Action;
The Splendor of Beauty.
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And Tommorrow is only a Vision.
But today well-lived makes every
Yesterday a Dream of Happiness and
Every Tommorrow a vision of Hope.
Look well, therefore, to this Day!

— The Sanskrit