Quotes by Theodore Roosevelt

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In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

It is better to be faithful than famous.
I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character!
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting, but never hit soft.
The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything
Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell em, Certainly I can! -- and get busy and find out how to do it.
It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort.
The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.
Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.
It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done 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 and comes short again and again; who knows the 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, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
At sometime in our lives a devil dwells within us, causes heartbreaks, confusion and troubles, then dies.
The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer.
Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.
There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering.
A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.
No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.
Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster.
Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency.
A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. More than that no man is entitled to, and less than that no man shall have.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the senators do not know whether to answer present or not guilty.
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
No man needs sympathy because he has to work. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.
People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives.
The boy who is going to make a great man must not make up his mind merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses and defeats.
No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency.
The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight.
Only those are fit to live who do not fear to die; and none are fit to die who have shrunk from the joy of life and the duty of life. Both life and death are parts of the same Great Adventure.
The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.
Obedience of the law is demanded; not asked as a favor.
Our chief usefulness to humanity rests on our combining power with high purpose. Power undirected by high purpose spells calamity, and high purpose by itself is utterly useless if the power to put it into effect is lacking.
Some men can live up to their loftiest ideals without ever going higher than a basement.
I think there is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.
No man is above the law, and no man is below it.
Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been effort stored up in the past.
I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.
Don't foul, don't flinch. Hit the line hard.
We must remember not to judge any public servant by any one act, and especially should we beware of attacking the men who are merely the occasions and not the cause of disaster.
Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.
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, and 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 the 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 know neither victory nor defeat.
It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.
There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100 % Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.
The old parties are husks, with no real soul within either, divided on artificial lines, boss-ridden and privilege-controlled, each a jumble of incongruous elements, and neither daring to speak out wisely and fearlessly on what should be said on the vital issues of the day.
The most successful politician is he who says what everybody is thinking most often and in the loudest voice.
Aggressive fighting for the right is the greatest sport in the world.
It is difficult to make our material condition better by the best law, but it is easy enough to ruin it by bad laws.
For unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.
One of our defects as a nation is a tendency to use what have been called weasel words. When a weasel sucks eggs the meat is sucked out of the egg. If you use a weasel word after another there is nothing left of the other.
No man who is not willing to bear arms and to fight for his rights can give a good reason why he should be entitled to the privilege of living in a free community.
The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
If we lose the virile, manly qualities, and sink into a nation of mere hucksters, putting gain over national honor, and subordinating everything to mere ease of life, then we shall indeed reach a condition worse than that of the ancient civilizations in the years of their decay.
Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihoodthe virtues that made America. The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.
It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
A man must first care for his own household before he can be of use to the state. But no matter how well he cares for his household, he is not a good citizen unless he also takes thought of the state. In the same way, a great nation must think of its own internal affairs; and yet it cannot substantiate its claim to be a great nation unless it also thinks of its position in the world at large.
I don't pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being.

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