United Nations’ Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold gleaned his belief in the value of public service from his family’s line of soldiers, government officials, scholars and clergymen. Hammarskjold said willing fulfillment of duty was an expression of love.
As a minister’s daughter, Ruth Cranston knew the teachings of the Bible, but she longed to discover the deeper values that shaped all the world’s religions. Cranston found a belief on which to build her life in the words of Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and Mohammed.
Novelist Aldous Huxley said past attempts to improve the world yielded some neat gadgets, indoor plumbing and personal hygiene. Yet Huxley believed individuals could make life better in the future by harnessing intelligence, goodwill and political action.
ACLU founder Roger Baldwin believed in the lofty goals of abolishing war, ending poverty, resolving racial and international strife, and expanding liberty. While success may not always be possible, Baldwin said there is valor in ceaselessly trying.
After suffering anxiety and insomnia and feeling sick, journalist Lucy Freeman sought a therapist to help her address her fears. Freeman’s experiences in counseling led her to believe that we must accept ourselves before we can truly give and receive love.
Reporting from Germany during Nazi rule, radio commentator William L. Shirer learned the value of tolerance and freedom. Shirer believes that man’s resilience, especially during times of war, comes from having a rich inner life of reflection and contemplation.
Diplomat Chester Bowles believes each person has a responsibility to uphold the truths and ideals outlined in the Declaration of Independence and the Bible. In doing so, Bowles says, we live lives worth saving.
Historian Will Durant spent much of his life chronicling human civilization. He believes our highest virtues are those that promote survival of the group over the individual. Durant, a one-time socialist, says too much liberty can be a dangerous thing.