Quote of the Day: Teddy Roosevelt.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jun 2, 2012
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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)

Red Teddy Roosevelt

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.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


3 Responses to “Quote of the Day: Teddy Roosevelt.”

  1. jamesvincentknowles says:

    You're doing tremendously great work and you are interested in improving it. I imagine, but cannot know of course, doing all you do must be rather confounding at times. This quote I ran across the other day reminded me to pay attention more to what I care most about and do my best meaningfully and purposefully, regardless what others say or think.

    "Only a mediocre person is always at his best." *W. S. Maugham

  2. […] Some people like to sit back and criticize rather than actually doing anything. […]

  3. Juliánna says:

    Waylon, if you are called, you are called. The question is, can you live with ignoring that call because your ego fears? Do you know (of) Andrew Harvey and his work?