RePost: Inscription at the Rockefeller Center
I only recently encountered this gem when a friend traveling to New York posted a picture of it. It seeps the commitment to individual excellence espoused by Ayn Rand, yet the recognition of honor and duty so symbolic of the thought and life of Theodore Roosevelt. It is, in other words, a Homeric-Virgilian statement attesting to the proper constitution of free individuals and free nations, distinctly American in its sentiment yet distinctly universal in its theory. I was surprised that these convictions of the great man, Rockefeller, were actually inscribed in the middle of the Twentieth Century- that age when philosophies of self-indulgence and the subjectivity of truth undermined traditions of individual excellence and honorable duty into a nebulous mass of feelings and ideas. May Americans of our age and every age to come read the words that follow, and may they live them. This statement ought to be included among every collection of great American documents.
“I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and his right to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness.
I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, and obligation; every possession, a duty.
I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master.
I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.
I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business, or personal affairs.
I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order.
I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man’s word should be as good as his bond; that character- not wealth or power or position- is of supreme worth.
I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of all Mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.
I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual’s highest fulfillment, greatest happiness, and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will.
I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.”
-John D. Rockefeller, Jr.