June 3, 2012

Quote of the Day: Teddy Roosevelt.

This is heartbreak. In honor of President’s Day, eight words:

“Teddy Roosevelt’s diary entry on the day he lost both his mother and his wife within hours. If you thought you were alone, it could be so much worse.” (image)

On this day in 1884, a young Theodore Roosevelt lost his wife and his mother over the span of a few hours, leading him to leave the journal entry. Happy Valentine’s Day!” (image)


This quote may sound epicly inspiring, but it isn’t.

It’s humble.

It’s pushing the notion that, instead of having fun, thinking about ourselves, we ought to sacrifice, and serve, and in so doing help the world and, hopefully have some fun along the way. But there is great disappointment and a rain of criticism and hate and difficulty for anyone who would put themselves forward onto the cutting board that this public service. Just ask Teddy himself, or FDR, or Bush, or LBJ, or Lincoln, or Clinton, or Obama. And just ask their families.

I have in my own life consistently chosen the joy and pain of service—this is how I was taught to live a fulfilled life—and to whom much is given (spiritually, in my case, if not temporally) much is expected. That said, the next phase of my life should be public service—and quite honestly I hesitate and putting myself in front of and in the midst of the neurotic karma and hate of thousands upon thousands of my fellow citizens. ~ ed.

It is not the critic who counts;

not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man

who is actually in the arena,

whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs, who comes short again and again,

because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;

but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,

and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know

victory nor defeat.

~ TR, on the true Sacrifice of Public Service.

This reminds me of this.

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