AS EVERY past generation has had to disenthrall itself from an inheritance of truisms and stereotypes, so in our time we must move on from reassuring repetition of stale phrases to a new, difficult, but essential confrontation with reality.
For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
President John F. Kennedy
Commencement Address, Yale University
June 11, 1962