‘Some people look at the way the world is and say, why?’

When I was young I shared with most young people of my generation a great admiration for John F Kennedy. We were idealistic and thrilled to his inaugural speech: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask rather what you can do for your country.’ We admired how he stood with the people of West Berlin and proclaimed, “Ich bein ein Berliner”, meaning, I am a Berliner; although we didn’t know that a Berliner was also the name for a local sausage, and JFK’s remarks would have sounded a bit like standing up in Hamburg and saying, I am a Hamburger. But to me, the best line of all came from his younger brother Robert, who also knew how to inspire a crowd. And that line was the one that said: ‘Some people look at the way the world is and say, why? But I look at the way things could be and say, Why not?’

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