“We cannot avoid meeting great issues. All that we can determine for ourselves is whether we shall meet them well or ill.”
Avoiding a problem or an issue never makes it go away and only prolongs the inevitable: coming to face to face with it and deciding how we will react to it. Former President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt was a testament to the fact that he never avoided meeting great issues and actually was determined to either overcome them or be victorious. The great thing about this is he did this all with well intentions. If there was ever some one who took their decision making abilities very serious it was Theodore Roosevelt.
Examples of him never backing down to a challenge started off when he was a young child as he suffered from debilitating health and bad asthma. Instead of letting these illnesses defeat him he focused on developing a heavy regime of exercise which actually helped to reduce his asthma and the other illnesses he was battling significantly. Another challenge was when his father unexpectedly passed away while he was in college. Instead of retreating from his studies he doubled his efforts in order to receive degrees from Harvard and Columbia Law School. Tragedy struck him again in what was one of the most devastating days of his life where he not only lost his mother but also his wife the very same day in the very same house. After much soul searching he channeled all of that hurt into his work through politics beginning his political career as the Assistant Secretary of Navy. When the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898, he felt as if he had to take matters into his own hands. So he resigned his post and established the Rough Riders to fight in the War. These acts eventually led him to become Governor of New York where he fought issues that involved the problems of trusts, monopolies, labor relations, and conservation opening the doorway to becoming Vice resident of the United States. These experiences helped shaped him for his future role as President in where he faces issues around trust busting, a coal strike, railroads and foreign policy. The list goes on and on.
In each of these instances Theodore Roosevelt always has the choice to make in facing these issues head on or not and then deciding how to best handle them. This does not mean things always turned out the way he had hoped but at least he made the wholehearted decision to at least try to make things right. We need to remember that we are the ones that choose to be afraid or be brave. We choose either to act or remain passive. And we choose whether to meet those issues with good or bad intentions.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards developing your responsible decision making skills?