Though Theodore Roosevelt is commonly attributed to this quote, there is no known source that has been found to prove it. That being said, they are words that seem to resonate well with that familiar small articulate voice that emitted itself from such a large personality. That persona has left a legacy that echoes the philosophies and morals of the fore fathers of our nation. Out of the 43 presidents that have served our country, there are only a few that are easily recognizable or remembered, good ol’ Teddy Roosevelt being one of them.Though his early life was fraught with disabling asthma, his family regularly went on trips that found them hiking through the Alps or other strenuous activity. The fast past lifestyle not only taught Roosevelt the benefit of exercise to better his asthma condition, but also gave him the strength and integrity that inevitably led him to lead our nation.From lifestyle choices to ideals and morals, Roosevelt blazed a path in life that was based on his decisions and how he carried them out. This month’s quote is the epitome of what Napoleon Hill is trying to convey. It’s not as easy as just making a decision – like that isn’t difficult enough – but you must stick by those decisions and carry them out whether or not they turn out to be the right ones. To accompany this quote, I decided to share a lesser known moment in Roosevelt’s life that, to me, really stands for integrity and the legacy we all can impart on this world.
On October 14th, 1912, Roosevelt was on the campaign trail in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, when he was shot by a saloon keeper by the name of John Flammang Schrank. The bullet passed through his steel eyeglass case and a folded 50 page copy of the speech he was scheduled to give that day. The bullet finally lodged itself in his chest muscle. Yet, since he was not coughing up blood, Roosevelt made the decision to give the scheduled speech while blood slowly soaked his clothes. The 90 minute speech opened with these words, “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a bull moose.” He then opened his vest to expose the blood soaked and pulled out his folded speech, “Fortunately I had my manuscript, so you see I was going to make a long speech, and there is a bullet—there is where the bullet went through—and it probably saved me from it going into my heart. The bullet is in me now, so that I cannot make a very long speech, but I will try my best.” The severity of the issue was lessened once doctors decided that leaving the bullet in place was the best thing to do, leaving Roosevelt to carry the token for the rest of his life and inevitably aggravated his rheumatoid arthritis that prevented him from the physical life he had developed.
Though this month’s Quotesense is not meant to be a history lesson refresher; there is no need to go over all the notable choices he has made, after all this brave man made making decisions his life. It was this moment in history that shows me the correlation of decision making and the integrity that goes along with it. Though every day we have shortcomings that set us back in life, our decisions to persevere and never give up while remaining confident in our choices are ever so important. Those victories give us the fuel to find our way in life and blaze a path that others want to follow.
By: David Joseph Leingang