To follow up on the Kennedy quote, I thought I'd also present this thought, from the introduction to Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman:
President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."... Neither half of that statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. "What your country can do for you" implies that the government is the patron, the citizen the ward. "What you can do for your country" assumes that the government is the master, the citizen the servant. Rather, you should ask what I, and my compatriots can do through government to help discharge our individual responsibilities to achieve our several goals and purpose, and, above all, protect our freedom.