(Photo by Kelly Campbell)
Cory Anthony Booker (b. April 27, 1969) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from New Jersey, in office since 2013. Previously he served as mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people. Before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children.
Courage has you say in a defiant spirit you can take everything from me, you could cut me deep, you could render me in shame but you will never ever stop me from loving those who mock me, from loving those that hate me, from loving those who don't forgive me, from loving the cynics, from loving the darkness so much that I myself through my small acts of consistent unyielding love may bring on the light.
Don't let your inability to do everything undermine your determination to do something.
First class in life has nothing to do with the clothes you wear, the car you drive or the house you live in. First class is and always will be about the content of your character, the quality of your ideas and the kindness in your heart.
Give more than is expected, love more than seems wise, serve more than seems necessary, and help more than is asked.
Give the respect you want to receive; embody the grace you hope to encounter; and help others with no expectations whatsoever.
Go out there and swear to this world your oath, not with your words, but with what you do. Not with your hand over your heart, but with your hand outstretched to a world that desperately needs your hand, your help, your insights, your creativity, your honor, your courage. It needs you.
If you look at great human civilizations, from the Roman Empire to the Soviet Union, you will see that most do not fail simply due to external threats but because of internal weakness, corruption, or a failure to manifest the values and ideals they espouse.
In life, it is never the big battle, the big moment, the big speech, the big election. That does not change things. What changes things is every day, getting up and rendering small acts of service and love beyond that what's expected of you or required of you.
It is okay not to like someone, but it is never okay to try and degrade, humiliate, or dehumanize them.
It's about time that we create first class citizenship for every American plain and simple. Every New Jersey-ian. This should not be a popular vote. This is something we should do now.
Leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example.
May we help more than we hurt, may we seek to understand more than be understood and may we love more than we judge.
No matter what, we always have the power to choose hope over despair, engagement over apathy, kindness over indifference, love over hate.
No matter who you are, no matter what your color, creed, how you choose to pray or who you choose to love, that if you are an American - first generation or fifth - one who is willing to work hard, play by the rules and apply your God-given talents - that you should be able to find a job that pays the bills.
Real courage is holding on to a still voice in your head that says, 'I must keep going.' It's that voice that says nothing is a failure if it is not final. That voice that says to you, 'Get out of bed. Keep going. I will not quit.'
The right attitude can transform a barrier into a blessing, an obstacle into an opportunity or a stumbling block into a stepping stone.
We choose forward. We choose inclusion. We choose growing together. We choose American economic might and muscle, standing strong on the bedrock of the American ideal: a strong, empowered and ever-growing middle class.
What more could you ask for in life than to be given an impossible challenge?
When American citizens pull together, there is little we can't accomplish.
When happy, be kind. When angry, be kind. When hopeful, be kind. When discouraged, be kind. When ever, be kind.
You need to understand something, you drink deeply from wells of freedom and liberty and opportunity that you did not dig. You eat lavishly from banquet tables prepared for you by your ancestors. You sit under the shade of trees that you did not plant or cultivate or care for. You have a choice in life, you can just sit back, getting fat, dumb, and happy, consuming all the blessings put before you, or it can metabolize inside of you, become fuel to get you into the fight, to make this democracy real, to make it true to its words that we can be a nation of liberty and justice for all.