Quotes

“… Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be knew. But those values upon which our success depends-hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is returned to this truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility-a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining our character, than giving our all to a difficult task. This is the price and the promise of citizenship…” – From President Barack H. Obama’s Inaugural Address (January 20, 2009).

 

"Our public interest depends on private character, on civic duty and family bonds and basic fairness, on uncounted, unhonored acts of decency which give direction to our freedom...What you do is as important as anything government does. I ask you to seek a common good beyond your comfort; to defend needed reforms against easy attacks; to serve your nation, beginning with your neighbor. I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens, building communities of service and a nation of character." -  George W. Bush

"Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." - John F. Kennedy

"Young people say, 'What can one person do? What is the sense in our effort?' They cannot see that we can only lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time; we can be responsible only for the one action of the present moment." - Dorothy Day

"If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives. Do good anyway...The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway...Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world your best anyway." - Mother Teresa

"We must be the change we see." - Mohandas Gandhi

"By its very definition, civic responsibility means taking a healthy role in the life of one's community. That means that classroom lessons should be complemented by work outside the classroom. Service-learning does just that, tying community service to academic learning." - Former Senator John Glenn

"Students who participate in service-learning are likely to continue to work all their lives in many different ways to improve the world around them, with lasting benefits for our country and our planet." -  Senator Edward M. Kennedy

"You will find meaning only by sharing in the responsibilities, the dangers, and the passions of your time." - Former President Lyndon B. Johnson

"Anyone can serve, because we all have something to give." - Sharon Davis

"The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people." - Louis Brandeis

"A citizen is one who participates in power." - Aristotle

"Service is the rent we pay for living." - Marian Wright Edelman

"Too many of us have become passive and disengaged. Too many of us lack confidence in our capacity to make basic moral and civic judgments, to join with our neighbors to do the work of the community, to make a difference. Never have we had so many opportunities for participation, yet rarely have we felt so powerless. In a time that cries out for civic action, we are in danger of becoming a nation of spectators." - National Commission on Civic Renewal, 1998

"...Citizenship in a democracy is not a spectator sport, particularly in times as tough as we're in. In his 1961 inaugural address, President John F. Kennedy called our nation to aspire to a new ethic of service. 'Ask not what your country can do for you,' he so famously said on that cold January day, 'ask what you can do for your country.' By necessity and because it is right, I will lead these 'Ask not' times. So work with me, my friends. If ten million of us asked what we could do for Michigan, what wonders would our reality hold for tomorrow?...You, my young friends, hold in your hands the power to change the world. So ask not what power will do for you, ask what you will do with your power to impact our world..." - Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm's inaugural address (January 1, 2003)

"I believe social responsibility begins with a strong, competitive company. Only a healthy enterprise can improve and enrich the lives of people and their communities. When a company is strong, it not only pays taxes that provide for important services. It also builds world-class facilities that meet or exceed safety and environmental standards. Strong companies reinvest in their people and their facilities. Healthy companies provide good and secure jobs that give their employees the time, the spirit, and the resources to give back to their communities a thousand-fold." – from Jack: Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch, p. 381, published by Warner Books (former chairman and CEO of General Electric Company)