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

Page 409

Growling holds up progress and never helps anything. Be ready, and when the order comes fall in. Fighting for the things worth while, hit the hardest licks you know how and never count the odds against you. They have nothing to do with it. If you are right, just fight on, “trying to make things better in this world, even if only a little better, because you have lived in it.” Let that be your watchword, and all will come out right.
  My story stops here. There is nothing in it, as I have shown you Roosevelt and his life, that is beyond the reach or strength of any one who will make the most of himself with determined purpose. “He stands,” some one has said, “for the commonplace virtues; he is great on lines along which each one of us can be great if he wills and dares!” It is for that reason above all significant that he should be the young man’s President, the type and hero of the generation that is to shape the coming day of our Republic as it is entering upon its world-mission among the nations. When Theodore Roosevelt first came into my life, he “came to help.” How he has helped me I can never tell. He made my life many times richer for his