Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (191763)
Without belittling the courage with which men have died, we should not forget those acts of courage with which men have lived. The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he mustin spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressuresand that is the basis of all human morality . In whatever arena of life one may meet the challenge of courage, whatever may be the sacrifices he faces if he follows his consciencethe loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow meneach man must decide for himself the course he will follow. The stories of past courage can define that ingredientthey can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.
Senator JOHN F. KENNEDY, Profiles in Courage, p. 246 (1956).