Louis Pasteur...on goals

Young men, young men, have confidence in those safe and powerful methods, of which we know only the first secrets. And, whatever your career may be, do not let yourselves become affected by a denigrating and barren skepticism, do not let yourselves be discouraged by the sorrows of certain hours which pass over a nation. Live in the serene peace of laboratories and libraries. Say to yourselves first "What have I done for my education?" And, as you gradually advance, "What have I done for my country?", until perhaps you may have the immense happiness of thinking that you have contributed in some way to the progress and to the good of humanity. But whether or not our efforts bear fruit, let us be able to say, when we come near the great goal, "I have done what I could".

Academy of Sciences, December 27, 1892