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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 408

for a living. I had been away more than twenty years, and many things had changed. I found the country divided into two camps, in matters of religious practice, when in my childhood we were one. Now there were the “happy Christians,” and the “hell-preachers” who saw only the wrath to come. Speaking with an old friend about the dairy industry, he gave me, quite unconsciously, directions that were good beyond the borders of the Danish land: “If you want good butter,” said he, “go to the happy Christians. They make the best.” Of course they do. They make the world go round. It is the honest fun that keeps life sane and sweet, butter and all.
  One more of his life-rules, and this one you may fairly call his motto: “Be ready!” Ammunition fixed, canteen filled, knapsack slung, watch for the opportunities of life that come, and seize them as they pass. They are for the one who is ready for them. Lose no time; a man can lose a fortune and make another; but the time that is lost is lost forever. It does not come back. Waste no time in grumbling. Roosevelt never does. The man who is busy helping his neighbor has no time to growl.