„Listen. To live is to be marked. To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know. In perfect stillness, frankly, I've only found sorrow.“

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„To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.“

—  John Henry Newman English cleric and cardinal 1801 - 1890
An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845), Chapter 1, Section 1, Part 7.

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„Perfect governments are only to be found where the prisons are full.“

—  Stanley Baldwin Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1867 - 1947
1933, Speech at the Institute of Public Administration, London (26 October 1933), quoted in This Torch of Freedom (1935), p. 53.

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„The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes.“

—  Oscar Wilde Irish writer and poet 1854 - 1900
The Soul of Man Under Socialism (1891), Context: The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes. Change is the one quality we can predicate of it. The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development. The error of Louis XIV was that he thought human nature would always be the same. The result of his error was the French Revolution. It was an admirable result. All the results of the mistakes of governments are quite admirable.

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„We do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place.“

—  Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961
2009, Nobel Prize acceptance speech (December 2009), Context: We do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached — their fundamental faith in human progress — that must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey. For if we lose that faith — if we dismiss it as silly or naïve; if we divorce it from the decisions that we make on issues of war and peace — then we lose what's best about humanity. We lose our sense of possibility. We lose our moral compass. Like generations have before us, we must reject that future. As Dr. King said at this occasion so many years ago, "I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present condition makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him." Let us reach for the world that ought to be — that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls.

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