Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.
- Václav Havel
Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
- Václav Havel, Disturbing the Peace, ch. 5 (1986; tr. 1990).
The truth is not simply what you think it is; it is also the circumstances in which it is said, and to whom, why and how it is said.
- Václav Havel
Where I First Heard of Václav Havel
During the summer of 1990, on the second day of my maiden travels through Europe, I spent the day exploring Florence, Italy with a couple of young Czechoslovakian travellers who raved about Václav Havel. Their english wasn't very good and I didn't know a bit of Czech, but we enjoyed communicating and they got their ideas across. They said that it was because of Havel that they were now able to travel freely into countries besides their own.
We truly are fortunate to be living in and experiencing these challenging yet often awe-inspiring times.
Great Speech, Good Article
Here's a great speech given by Václav Havel on July 4, 1994 at Independance Hall, Philadelphia titled "The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World".
Here's a good Radio Prague article on Václav Havel titled 'Vaclav Havel: from "bourgeois reactionary" to president.'
Photo source: aphorismen-archiv.de
Sig source: Kinskych Palace