August 9, 2011

What Is Most Important for the Nation as Well as for the Individual

Yet another quote from my summer readings…

Theodore Roosevelt
26th President of the United States
It seems to me that, for the nation as for the individual, what is most important is to insist on the vital need of combining certain sets of qualities, which separately are common enough, and, alas, useless enough. Practical efficiency is common, and lofty idealism not uncommon; it is the combination which is necessary, and the combination is rare. Love of peace is common among weak, short-sighted, timid, and lazy persons; and on the other hand courage is found among many men of evil temper and bad character. Neither quality shall by itself avail. Justice among the nations of mankind, and the uplifting of humanity, can be brought about only by those strong and daring men who with wisdom love peace, but who love righteousness more than peace.

~ Theodore Roosevelt, An Autobiogrqaphy  (NEW YORK: MACMILLAN, 1913)


  1. Which is virtually the same as idealism being commendable, only when it's tempered with realism. To Obama's credit he is an idealist, for example, but to his, the USA's and thus the world's detriment, he doesn't always seem to as realistic as a US President should be.

  2. I don't like his kind of idealism very much either...

  3. I came across Theodore Roosevelt's work and philosophy when my husband and I took a Panama Canal cruise a few years ago. They even had an actor play out some fragments of his life. He was a remarkable man, one with vision and determination to get things done. I like your blog. Have to visit more often.