This Year’s Touchstone

Lady Bird Johnson from her “Speech on the Progressive Future of American Youth.” Madison, Wisconsin, 23 Sept. 1967:

It is not enough to be dissatisfied with things as they are, unless you put that dissatisfaction to work. It is not enough to use your voice against the world as it is, unless you’re willing to use your hands and your head to build the world that should be…We must be seekers, yes. And doubters. But builders and believers too. So I urge you to begin your building now.

Click through for the full quote:

Today, I see the spirit of a seeker in America’s young people, in their restlessness and questioning dissatisfaction.

You are not satisfied, nor should you be, when poverty still afflicts millions of American families.

You are not satisfied, nor should you be, when ugliness threatens the city and the countryside.

You are not satisfied when slums and disease and ignorance go unconquered in our world, and when peace with justice remains unattained.

You are not satisfied, and I am not, with a world still so riddled with problems.

But you and I have an opportunity to take that world and make it different.

So I urge you to be not only a seeker, but a builder, too.

For it is not enough to have only the spirit of a seeker.

It is not enough to be dissatisfied with things as they are, unless you put that dissatisfaction to work.

It is not enough to use your voice against the world as it is, unless you’re willing to use your hands and your head to build the world that should be.

Suppose our founders had written the Declaration of Independence, but never marched to battle.

Suppose Mark Twain … with his skeptical wisdom of the world and it’s condition…had never put his pen to paper.

Suppose Frank Lloyd Wright had rejected the architecture of the day, but had never built a building of his own.

We must be seekers, yes. And doubters.

But builders and believers too.

So I urge you to begin your building now.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *