When you are fighting a disease one is often motivated and inspired by quotes or words of admired leaders.
All these One Man´s inspired thousands and thousands of people, changing existing paradigms and consequently changed the world.
A tag cloud of almost 70.000 most used words from 20 speeches resulted in the beside standing image.
Surprised? I wasn´t… The spoken word is the most distinguished gift that Nature gave to us and powerful words haven’t really evolved in time, as you can see. I used speeches from various people in history, from Socrates to Steve Jobs and from Jesus Christ to the one that gave name to my disease, Lou Gehrig.
They use mostly simple words in their speeches in their fight against racism, apartheid, terrorism, crime or their hope for freedom, achievement, ending poverty and curing diseases.
In my image the only difficult word, “Umkhonto”, came from Mandela’s speech “I am prepared to die” from 1961, which means spear and refers to the armed wing of the ANC, we all know how the story ends and how it changed history.
So not intellectual words, complex verbs or scientific equations, but words that everyone understand are the way to change. It emphasises one’s belief that you can change the world and it might not even be so difficult, not by shouting it of roofs, but by inspiring others with simple words.
For the ones inspired and interested in the speeches I used, here’s my list:
- The Fall of the Berlin Wall – Ronald Reagan
- Going to the Moon – John F Kennedy
- The Vast Wasteland – Newton Minow
- The Most Successful Drop Out – Bill Gates
- Don’t loose faith – Steve Jobs
- The Mountaintop – Martin Luther King
- Against Imperialism – Che Guevara
- The Gettysburg address – Abraham Lincoln
- Farewell to Baseball Address – Lou Gehrig
- Depart! – Alexander the Great
- Apology – Socrates
- Wonders of science – Albert Einstein
- I am prepared to die – Nelson Mandela
- Blessed are the poor in the spirit– Jesus Christ
- The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement’ – Nelson Mandela
- I have faith in the righteousness of our cause – Mahatma Ghandi
- Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death – Patrick Henry
- We are not only scientists, we are men too – J Robert Oppenheimer
- Freedom of Choice is a universal principle – Mikhail Gorbachev
- Time Has Come for Universal Health Care – Barack Obama