The March 2005 Edition of Street Spirit

A publication of the American Friends Service Committee


National AFSC AFSC Economic Justice BOSS Website



In this issue:

Truth About Care Not Cash

Resistance to Brown's Curfew

No Millionaire Left Behind

Bush Policies Punish the Poor

Bush Rigs U.S. Society for Rich

SOS! Save Our Services

Faith Reflection on Bush Budget

Plan to End Homelessness in Ten Years

Counted Out in San Francisco

Artist Portrays Act of Giving

Berkeley Protest Demands Shelter from the Storm

Transformation of Dignity Village

George Wynn's Homeless Fiction

Poor Leonard's Almanack

Poetry of the Streets


May 2005

February 2005






Street Spirit is published by American Friends Service Committee.

All works are copyrighted by the authors.

The views expressed in Street Spirit are those of the individual authors alone, and not necessarily that of the American Friends Service Committee.


Poor Leonard's Almanack

Quotations and Original Thoughts
by Leonard Roy Frank
Street Spirit March 2005

On Greatness

1. It is not in the still calm of life that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues.
ABIGAIL ADAMS (first lady), letter to her son and future president John Quincy Adams, then 12 years old, 19 January 1780

2. The most characteristic mark of a great mind is to choose some one important object, and pursue it for life.
ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD (English poet), "Against Inconsistency in Our Expectations," Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose, 1773

3. Two centuries ago when a great man appeared, people looked for God's purpose in him. Today we look for his press agent.
DANIEL J. BOORSTIN (historian), The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America, 1961

4. An article of the democratic faith is that greatness lies in each person.
BILL BRADLEY (New Jersey senator), commencement address at Middlebury College, May 1989

5. They're only truly great who are truly good.
GEORGE CHAPMAN (English playwright), Revenge for Honour, 1654

6. The price of greatness is responsibility.
WINSTON CHURCHILL, quoted in Gretchen Morgenson, "Beneath a Boom Quarter," New York Times, 25 July 1999

7. Every man of action has a strong dose of egotism, pride, hardness, and cunning. But all those things will be forgiven him, indeed, they will be regarded as high qualities, if he can make of them the means to achieve great ends.
CHARLES de GAULLE (French general and president), "Of Prestige," The Edge of the Sword, 1934, translated by Gerald Hopkins, 1960

8. The spirit of the age is the very thing that a great man changes.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI (English prime minister), Coningsby: Or, The New Generation, 1844

9. The defects of great men are the consolation of dunces.
ISAAC D'ISRAELI (English writer), Literary Character of Men of Genius, 1795

10. It is characteristic of the great that they demand far less of other people than of themselves.
MARIE von EBNER-ESCHENBACH (Austrian writer), Aphorisms, 1880-1905, translated by David Scrase and Wolfgang Mieder, 1994

11. We are very near to greatness: one step and we are safe: can we not take the leap?
RALPH WALDO EMERSON, journal, 28 October 1841

12. Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON, "Progress of Culture," Letters and Social Aims, 1876

13. A great man and a great rogue are synonymous terms.
HENRY FIELDING (English writer), The History of the Life of the Late Mr Jonathan Wild the Great, 1743

14. Who bends his knee to the great ones of this world, he knows them not!
FREDERICK II (German emperor, 1712-1786), quoted in Heinrich von Treitschke, The Life of Frederick the Great, edited by Douglas Sladen, 1915

15. One of the immortal infantile wishes... the wish to become great.
SIGMUND FREUD, The Interpretation of Dreams, 1900, translated by A. A. Brill, 1938

16. Few great men could pass Personnel.
PAUL GOODMAN (writer and teacher), Growing Up Absurd: Problems of Youth in the Organized Society, 1956

17. No matter how meagerly endowed, we yet find it easy to identify ourselves with persons of exceptional endowments and achievements. Can it be that even in the least of us there are crumbs of all abilities and potentialities so that we can comprehend greatness as if it were part of us?
ERIC HOFFER (longshoreman and philosopher), Reflections on the Human Condition, 1973

18. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.
WASHINGTON IRVING (writer, 1783-1859), quoted in Elbert Hubbard, editor, Elbert Hubbard's Scrap Book, 1923

19. Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.
SAMUEL JOHNSON (English writer and lexicographer), "Pope," Lives of the English Poets, 1781

20. The most indispensable element of greatness -- justice.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? 1967

21. He who would do some great thing in this short life must apply himself to work with such a concentration of his forces as, to idle spectators, who live only to amuse themselves, looks like insanity.
FRANCIS PARKMAN (historian, 1823-1893), quoted in Elbert Hubbard, Elbert Hubbard's Scrap Book, 1923

22. While an eminent man wins our admiration through his great qualities, he can hold our love only from his human weaknesses, that make him one of ourselves.
DONN PIATT (lawyer and journalist), "Abraham Lincoln," Memories of the Men Who Saved the Union, 1887

23. Not a day passes over the earth but men and women of no note do great deeds, speak great words, and suffer noble sorrows.
CHARLES READE (English writer), The Cloister and the Hearth, 1861

24. Malvolio: Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.
SHAKESPEARE, Twelfth Night, 1599

25. Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
MARK TWAIN, quoted in Gay MacLaren, Morally We Roll Along, 1938

26. He or she is greatest who contributes the greatest original practical example.
WALT WHITMAN, "By Blue Ontario's Shore," 1856, Leaves of Grass, 1855-1892

27.What distinguishes greatness from grandiosity is success.

28. Even a grain of sand can be great if, for example, it's the one that tips the scale.

29. True greatness presupposes reconciliation -- first with oneself, and then with the world.

Leonard Roy Frank is the editor of Random House Webster's Quotationary. Random House published his Freedom: Quotes and Passages from the World's Greatest Freethinkers and 5 gift books titled Inspiration, Love, Money, Wisdom, and Wit.

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