…The tragedy in life does not lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal, but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. -Benjamin E. Mays
The story of Bernard Lown:
One Man’s Journey to end Nuclear Weapons
Bernard Lown, the good-hearted Physician Emeritus at Harvard Medical School, is best known as the inventor of the heart defibrillator—a remarkable device that has “shocked” literally millions of hearts back to life over the past 50 years.
But there’s another, far-greater quest in Dr. Lown’s life. Together with his Russian counterpart, Dr. Evgueni Chazov, they set out to face down the worldwide threat of nuclear war on behalf of all mankind. In 1986, they were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for establishing the International Physicians for the Prevention of War.
Against all odds they grew the organization to more than 150,000 physicians. Together those physicians were able to gather enough data to prove to world leaders that our planet could not survive a nuclear war. There wouldn’t be enough physicians and hospitals to care for those who might survive, and all humanity would die.
In his late eighties, Dr. Lown still travels throughout the world, urging everyday individuals not to be intimidated about taking on global issues on their own. He reminds all of us: “Some of life’s biggest and most positive changes are propelled by mini conspiracies of a few well-meaning folks.”
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, sommited citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead