Here are some thoughts extracted from Roosevelt’s 1910 speech that I think are relevant even today…
There is a need for a sound body, and even more need for a sound mind. But above mind and body stands character – the sum of those qualities referring to force and courage and good faith and sense of honour.
Self restraint; Self-mastery; Common sense; accepting individual responsibility yet acting in conjunction with others; Courage and Resolution – these are the qualities marking masterful people.
The chief blessings for any nation is that it shall leave its seed to inherit the land. It was the crown of blessings in Biblical times; and it is the crown of blessings now. The greatest curse is that of sterility; the severest of condemnations should be that visited upon wilful sterility. The greatest of the fundamental virtues is the race’s power to perpetuate the race.
Material well-being represents nothing but a foundation – worthless unless raised upon a superstructure of a higher life.
There should be equality of opportunity to render service – but as long as there is inequality of service, there should be inequality of reward. Let us try to level up, and beware of the evil of leveling down.
If a man stumbles, help him rise. If he lies down, do not waste your energy by trying to carry him.
Persecution is bad because it is persecution – we should have complete freedom provided that it does not interfere with our neighbours. Class hatred is intrinsically bad. Brutality of a man of wealth or power is, at root, merely a different manifestation of that of the envious or hateful malice directed against wealth or power.
Great republics throughout history have fallen when there has arisen a divide between rich and poor – when people give loyalty to their class rather than to their nation.