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- Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the Mona Lisa painted by a club? Could the New Testament have been composed as a conference report? Creative ideas do not spring from groups. They spring from individuals. The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam, whether it takes ultimate shape in a law of physics or a law of the land, a poem or a policy, a sonata or a mechanical computer.
- A. Whitney Griswold, president of Yale, baccalaureate address, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, June 9, 1957.—Congressional Record, June 11, 1957, vol. 103, Appendix, p. A4545.
- I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
- Edward Everett Hale, "Lend a Hand."—Masterpieces of Religious Verse, ed. James Dalton Morrison, p. 416 (1948).
- One man with courage makes a majority.
- Attributed to Andrew Jackson by Robert F. Kennedy in his Foreward to the Young Readers Memorial Edition of John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage, p. xiii (1964). Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989). Kennedy continued, "That is the effect President Kennedy had on others." A variation of the phrase above, "One man can make a difference and every man should try," was written by Jacqueline Kennedy on a card to accompany an exhibit that travelled around the country when the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston was first opened.
- At the heart of that western freedom and democracy is the belief that the individual man, the child of God, is the touchstone of value, and all society, groups, the state, exist for his benefit. Therefore the enlargement of liberty for individual human beings must be the supreme goal and the abiding practice of any western society.
- Robert F. Kennedy, "Day of Affirmation," address delivered at the University of Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966.—Congressional Record, June 6, 1966, vol. 112, p. 12429.
- First, is the dangers of futility; the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills—against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man.
- Robert F. Kennedy, "Day of Affirmation," address delivered at the University of Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966.—Congressional Record, June 6, 1966, vol. 112, p. 12430.
- But society has now fairly got the better of individuality; and the danger which threatens human nature is not the excess, but the deficiency, of personal impulses and preferences.
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, ed. David Spitz, chapter 3, p. 57–58 (1975). Originally published in 1859.
- If it were felt that the free development of individuality is one of the leading essentials of well-being; that it is not only a coordinate element with all that is designated by the terms civilisation, instruction, education, culture, but is itself a necessary part and condition of all those things; there would be no danger that liberty should be undervalued.
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, ed. David Spitz, chapter 3, p. 54 (1975). Originally published in 1859.
- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, chapter 18, p. 430 (1966). Originally published in 1854.