John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Much is required

For those to whom much is given, much is required. And when, at some future date, the high court of history sits in judgment on each of us, recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state, our success or failure … will be measured by the answers to these questions:

1st: were we truly men of courage — with the courage to stand up to one’s enemies, the courage to stand up…to one’s associates, and the courage to resist public pressure, as well as private greed?

2nd: were we truly men of judgment with perspective judgment of the future as well as the past, of our mistakes as well as the mistakes of others, with enough wisdom to know what we did not know, and enough candor to admit it?

3rd: were we truly men of integrity — who never ran out on either the principles in which we believe or the men who believed in us … Finally, were we truly men of dedication with an honor mortgaged to no single individual or group, and comprised of private obligation or aim, but devoted solely to serving the public good and the national interest? Courage, Judgment, Integrity, Dedication these are the historic qualities which, with God’s help, will characterize our Government’s conduct in the years ahead.”

—John Fitzgerald Kennedy.