The word ‘Manly’ was one of Roosevelt’s favorite terms. In his day the term was associated less with machismo and more with true manliness. Yet even by the late 1800’s, Roosevelt began to see a softness forming in the American Spirit. The move from the hard-working, rural lifestyle to the comfort of the city and easy pay had began to change the culture. Roosevelt, while he grew up wealthy, had a longing to cut away from the conforms of civilized society. In his early twenties he headed to the Bad Lands of the Dakotas, amongst the cowboys, and learned to become rough, himself.
One of his most inspirational topics to speak on was that of taking up the mantle and high-calling of manliness, and when he spoke to crowds, it wasn’t just the men that were inspired. Manliness is a virtue that all of society should pursue.
Here is a great quote from Roosevelt that I believe is just as timely in our day as it was in his.
“There is an unhappy tendency among certain of our cultivated people to lose the great manly virtues, the power to strive and fight and conquer, not only in a time of peace, but on the field of battle.” – Theodore Roosevelt
How Does This Apply Today?
It’s hard to imagine that Roosevelt saw a softness in the American’s of his day, when we look back and realize that these were the men and women that braved WWI and WWII. For me the question is, how soft is too soft? Roosevelt thought we were in trouble in his day, but we came through in the end. We certainly see a loss of striving and fight in modern society, but is it something we should be concerned about, or is that just the impression we get from a people with no easily discernible threat to fight against?
Sound off in the comments below or on social media. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
- #TRThursday articles give us some manly insight and wisdom from Theodore Roosevelt every Thursday. Sometimes a quote, sometimes a snippet of his life...always manly! Read other TRThursday articles here. -