Richard Nixon’s Meaning of Life

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The 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon, on a television screen. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

History hasn’t been kind to President Nixon, and were you looking for insight into the meaning of life, his door would not be the first you would open.

Maybe however it should be, for when he gives his version of the oft-ignored truism that money will not buy you happiness, you would be wise to listen. And remember another frequently overlooked fact while you’re doing so — one can’t always judge a book by its cover. Even a book covered by dust, and hiding at the back of a library.

…the unhappiest people in the world are those in the watering places, the international watering places like..uhhh..the south coast of France and Newport and Palm Springs and Palm Beach; going to parties every night, playing golf every afternoon, then bridge. Drinking too much, talking too much, thinking too little. Retired. No purpose.

And so, well I know those who will totally disagree with this and say ‘Gee, boy, if I could just be a millionaire that would be the most wonderful thing; if I could just not have to work everyday, if I could just be out fishing or hunting, or playing golf, or travelling, that would be the most wonderful life in the world’ …they don’t know life, because what makes life mean something is purpose. A goal. The battle. The struggle. Even if you don’t win it…

  1. May 6, 2012 8:40 am

    Thanks for this quote, Jaitra, insightful and inspiring! It’s so true, the challenge is an integral part of life, not something to be avoided, and yet how often do we hear that crucial fact acknowledged? Very refreshing.

  2. May 6, 2012 9:45 am

    Thanks for your keen insight Sumangali. It seems to me you’ve gone straight to the heart of the quote; to paraphrase, that climbing the mountain, that striving and sometimes struggling, is as much the key to happiness as standing on the top of the mountain itself!

  3. Dec 13, 2012 10:04 pm

    History is on his side

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