Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography

By Theodore Roosevelt | Go to book overview
NOBEL PRIZE DIPLOMA IN CASE.

CHAPTER XV
THE PEACE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

THERE can be no nobler cause for which to work than the peace of righteousness; and high honor is due those serene and lofty souls who with wisdom and courage, with high idealism tempered by sane facing of the actual facts of life, have striven to bring nearer the day when armed strife between nation and nation, between class and class, between man and man shall end throughout the world. Because all this is true, it is also true that there are no men more ignoble or more foolish, no men whose actions are fraught with greater possibility of mischief to their country and to mankind, than those who exalt unrighteous peace as better than righteous war. The men who have stood highest in our history, as in the history of all countries, are those who scorned injustice, who were incapable of oppressing the weak, or of permitting their country, with their consent, to oppress the weak, but who did not hesitate to draw the sword when to leave it undrawn meant inability to arrest triumphant wrong.

All this is so obvious that it ought not to be necessary to repeat it. Yet every man in active affairs, who also reads about the past, grows by bitter experience to realize that there are plenty of men, not only among those who mean ill, but among those who mean well, who are ready enough to praise what was done in the past, and yet are incapable of profiting by it when faced by the needs of the present.

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