John F. Kennedy on challenging inherited perspectives

As every past generation has had to disenthrall itself from an inheritance of truisms and stereotypes, so in our time we must move on from the reassuring repetition of stale phrases to a new, difficult, but essential confrontation with reality.

For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

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John F. Kennedy in his Yale University commencement address (New Haven, Connecticut: June 11, 1962), 5:10-6:08. Complete audio recording available at American Rhetoric (MP3). Cited in part as the Quotation of the Day for August 2, 2007.

John F. Kennedy Posted on behalf of John F. Kennedy on Saturday, May 29th, 2010 under Quotations.

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