“The Creator gathered all of creation and said, ‘I want to hide something from the human until they are ready for it. It is the realisation that they create their own reality.’
The eagle said, ‘Give it to me, I will take it to the moon.’ The Creator said, ‘No. One day they will go there and find it.’
The salmon said, ‘I will hide it on the bottom of the ocean.’ The Creator said, ‘No. They will go there, too.’
The buffalo said, ‘I will bury it on the great plains.’ The Creator said, ‘They will cut off the skin of the earth and find it even there.’
Then Grandmother Mole, who lives in the breast of Mother Earth, and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said: ‘Put it inside them. That is the last place they will look.’
And the Creator said, ‘It is done.’”
“Even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction – purpose and dignity – that afflicts us all.
Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product – if we judge the United States of America by that – that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.
It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.
It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.
Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.
It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.
And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans. If this is true here at home, so it is true elsewhere in world.”
Robert Kennedy, University of Kansas, March 18, 1968