Richard Nixon on What Makes Life Mean Something

You see, people, the average person now you understand this, I do not consider myself to be other than an average person, none of us should really. We all think we’re a little smarter than we are.

But you feel it, well gee, isn’t it just great to have enough money to afford to live in a very nice house and to be able to play golf and to have nice parties and to wear good clothes, shoes, suits, etc. Or travel if you want to.

And the answer is If you don’t have those things, then they can mean a great deal to you. When you do have them, they mean nothing to you.

To me, the unhappiest people of the world are those in the watering places, the international watering places like the south coast of France, Newport, 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, retire. No purpose.

And so, while I know there are those who would 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. I could just be out fishing or hunting or playing golf or traveling, 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!

I know a lot of people, I can understand it, say: “gee whiz, it just isn’t fair for an individual to get off with a pardon simply because he happens to have been President, when another individual goes to trial and maybe has to serve a prison sentence for it. I can understand how they feel. I can only say that no one in the world, no one in our history, can know how I felt, no one can know how it feels to resign the Presidency of the United States. Is that punishment enough? Oh, probably not. But whether it is or isn’t, we have to live with not only the past but for the future.

I don’t know what the future brings, but whatever it brings, I’ll still be fighting.

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