“The young must know it; the old must know it. It must always sustain us because the greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes when you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes, because only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be at the highest mountain.”
“Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember other may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”
“I can only say to each and every one of you, we come from many faiths, we pray perhaps to different gods, but really the same God in a sense, but I want to say for each and every one of you, not only will we always remember you, not only will we always be grateful to you but always you will be in our hearts and you will be in our prayers.”
A Word of Explanation.
Normally on this blog I give no explanation for postings, this is to let the reader make up their own mind of the meaning of the post and of its worth. On this occasion, however, I do think that a word or two of explanation is necessary. Richard M Nixon was a Quaker, perhaps not a model Quaker, but a Quaker all the same. As a Quaker myself, and a pacifist, I cannot defend many of his decisions in office. I am not an American citizen, but as ‘a man of the left’, he would never have got my vote if I were. Those of us that remember his time in office remember much of it with pain and regret. Nixon’s reputation is reflected in those websites listing ‘famous Quakers’, often run by Friends; do not have Nixon on the list, perhaps for obvious reasons, though many with less claim to the title seem to make it.
Given this I do think we need to look at Nixon the man with some charity. As a Quaker I believe ‘that of God’ is present in every human being and it is my duty to seek ‘that of God’ in all including Richard M Nixon. The quotations above come from the Farwell speech to Whitehouse staff. I, possibly like you (if you are old enough) remember watching this on television at the time it was made, though I recall little of its content at the time. On hearing the speech again some years later, at the end of the Oliver Stone movie “Nixon“; it, quite unexpectedly, reduced me to tears.
Looking now at the speech I can clearly see a man with some humility, some dignity and even some honesty. I would welcome your comments and, please read or listen to the full speech yourself. Hay Quaker
Full text of the speech at:
Mp3 of the speech at: