I Learned Something Today

President Theodore Roosevelt

I intended this post to be merely a reference to an inspirational quote by Teddy Roosevelt. However, in the process of looking up the full quote and its context, I learned that the part of the quote often attributed to Roosevelt is actually him quoting someone else!

Here’s the full quote:

There are many kinds of success in life worth having. It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business man, or railroad man, or farmer, or a successful lawyer or doctor; or a writer, or a President, or a ranchman, or the colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions. But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison. It may be true that he travels farthest who travels alone; but the goal thus reached is not worth reaching. And as for a life deliberately devoted to pleasure as an end — why, the greatest happiness is the happiness that comes as a by-product of striving to do what must be done, even though sorrow is met in the doing. There is a bit of homely philosophy, quoted by Squire Bill Widener, of Widener’s Valley, Virginia, which sums up one’s duty in life: “Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.”

Catch that last part? Roosevelt was quoting Bill Widener. Who’s that? It’s not clear. Looks like Mr. Widener was just some guy that Roosevelt knew.

Like I said before, I start writing these posts with one thing in mind and other notions intrude. Maybe that’s why Titan is so long?

Nah, it’s just packed with story.


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