Monday, October 25, 2010

Teddy Roosevelt, Perseverance & “The American Boy”

Roosevelt’s essay, “The American Boy,” has some good wisdom for boys growing into manhood, and I have enjoyed reading it to my boys. This excerpt underlines the importance of perseverance.

Perhaps there is no more important component of character than steadfast resolution. The boy who is going to make a great man, or is going to count in any way in after life, must make up his mind not merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses or defeats. He may be able to wrest success along the lines on which he originally started. He may have to try something entirely new. On the one hand, he must not be volatile and irresolute, and, on the other hand, he must not fear to try a new line because he has failed in another.


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Teddy Roosevelt on Reading to His Boys

In a letter to one son, Teddy Roosevelt mentions that while his wife is away he is doing the nightly reading to the younger boys. His description of their time together is a good encouragement to us today to read our children.

“Each night I spend about three-quarters of an hour reading to them. I first of all read some book like Algonquin Indian Tales, or the poetry of Scott or Macaulay. Once I read them Jim Bludsoe, which perfectly enthralled them and made Quentin ask me at least a hundred questions …. I have also been reading them each evening from the Bible. It has been the story of Saul, David and Jonathan. They have been so interested that several times I have had to read them more than one chapter. Then each says his prayers and repeats the hymn he is learning …. Each finally got one hymn perfect, whereupon in accordance with previous instructions from mother I presented each of them with a five-cent piece.”
Cited in The Letters and Lessons of Teddy Roosevelt for His Sons, ed. Doug Phillips

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