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by Abigail Van Buren

Words of Triumph and Loss Can Inspire New Generation

DEAR ABBY: I have carried a quote from Teddy Roosevelt in my wallet for a number of years. The words seem as appropriate today as they were when he spoke them. I have enclosed a copy for you. Please print it for the benefit of the younger generation who may not have read it. -- JACK TAYLOR, N. HIGHLANDS, CALIF.

DEAR JACK: That quotation, part of a speech delivered by President Roosevelt at the Sorbonne in Paris on April 23, 1910, has appeared in my column before, but I'm pleased to share it again. Although seniors may already be familiar with it, youthful readers may find it inspirational. Read on:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worse, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

DEAR ABBY: I am writing this letter to make the general public aware of a potential problem with their telephone service.

A great number of people put in all cordless phones when having phones installed. What they may not realize is that the "base" stations for those instruments are powered by electricity. If the power is interrupted, their phones will not work.

To avoid this problem, they need only install one phone that plugs directly into a jack and requires no electricity. Then if power is lost, that phone will still operate. I hope this helps people to avert a problem at a time when their phone may be needed the most. -- GEORGE F. ADAMS, BURLINGTON, N.J.

DEAR GEORGE: That's excellent advice. It's something I have done in my own home, and that precaution has paid for itself many times over. (Of course, cell phones can operate without electricity, at least for a while, but they eventually need to have their batteries recharged.)

DEAR ABBY: My Aunt Ida lived to be 108. She remained rational and alert to the end. One day she asked, "Why do I have to stay around so long? What good am I? Is there any reason to keep me all this time?"

My wife, Pat, who always seems to get it right, said: "Ida, you're here because of your smile. You have the brightest smile in the world, and when you smile you make everyone feel good. That's why you're here. You have a purpose."

Ida immediately brightened, said, "You think so?" and broke into a big grin. At the end of each visit, I'd turn up the corners of my mouth and say, "Keep smiling."

The nurses who took care of her often commented that Ida was always smiling, cheerful and upbeat. She was the oldest person in the rest home, but she lifted everyone's spirits like a ray of sunshine. -- A PROUD NEPHEW IN MINNEAPOLIS

DEAR NEPHEW: What a wonderful tribute to your Aunt Ida. Her smile must have been contagious, because I smiled when I read your letter.

To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby's "Keepers," P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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