“Freedom or independence means that our lives are shaped by personal priorities rather than external constraints or social pressures. It means we are able to follow our own deepest values and exercise our judgment even when others disagree or disapprove. To maintain independence, we must recognize our natural human tendency to assimilate–to gradually conform our ideas to those of groups or leaders that we like.”
♦ Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!
♦ We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer: that you are here; that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse; that the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
♦ [Keating stands on his desk]
Keating: Why do I stand up here? Anybody?
Dalton: To feel taller!
[Dings a bell with his foot]
Keating: Thank you for playing Mr. Dalton. I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.
♦ John Keating: There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.
♦ John Keating: Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.