Tags: Presidential History | biography of theodore roosevelt

Biography of Theodore Roosevelt: 5 Lessons For A Younger Generation

By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 01:53 PM

The wisdom Theodore Roosevelt offered a century ago can still resonate with a younger generation today.

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1. Never mind the odds. Roosevelt, a sickly child who was not expected to live, built himself up into a healthy, active young man. In other words, he did something about it. The occasional failure did not deter him.

“(T)here is no effort without error and shortcoming,” he told a Paris audience in 1910. That “Citizenship In A Republic” speech contained the famous passage about “The Man In The Arena” who, “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.” 

2. “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” Though Roosevelt’s motto came to stand for his aggressive foreign policy backed by the United States’ naval might, the 1900 letter in which he attributed it to a “West African proverb” shows what he really meant: Avoid bluster, big talk, and threats -- but make sure people know you can back yourself up

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3. Take responsibility and avoid the temptation to blame. “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble,” Roosevelt is widely quoted as saying (though no one seems to know when or where), “you wouldn't sit for a month.”

4. Leave the world in better shape than in which you found it. “The nation behaves well if it treats its natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value,” he told the Colorado Livestock Association in 1910. 

5. Always be learning. Until the end of his life, Roosevelt read everything he could get his hands on, even as he taught millions through his own writing. There was always something to learn.

“As soon as any man has ceased to be able to learn, his usefulness as a teacher is at an end,” he told a teachers’ organization. “When he himself can’t learn, he has reached the stage where other people can’t learn from him.” 

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The wisdom Theodore Roosevelt offered a century ago can still resonate with a younger generation today.
biography of theodore roosevelt
Friday, 22 May 2015 01:53 PM
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