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Dear Quote Investigator: High aspirations have to be unified via a helpful heart to attain greatness. This notion have the right to be expressed via the complying with adage:

Keep your eyes on the stars, but your feet on the ground.

You are watching: Eyes on the stars feet on the ground

This statement has been attributed to U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. Would you please check out its provenance?

Quote Investigator: In 1900 New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt ceded a speech in Chicback, Illinois in the time of which he signaled that he did not wish to be the Vice President of the UNITED STATE The speech closed via the adhering to words reported in “The Daily Inter Ocean” newspaper of Chicago. Emphasis included to excerpts by QI: 1

The head-in-the-air philosophers will not succeed in national politics any more than in regulation, or physics, or dry products. We’ve gained to face facts. An uncomfortable reality is a safer companion than the the majority of attractive falsehood. Strive mightily for high ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, yet don’t forobtain that your feet are necessarily on the earth.

Roosevelt employed various versions of the saying around stars and feet in numerous speeches over the years. He served as U.S. President from 1901 to 1909.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

In 1869 a newspaper in Louisiana publimelted an write-up filled via advice under the title “Talks With Young Men”. The figurative phrase “keep your eyes on the stars” was used negatively to suggest that a perkid via distracting dreams could miss out on helpful opportunities to acquire riches and also success: 2

Judge others by what they have done, not by what they are going to do! Don’t save your eyes on the stars and stumble over nuggets. Black your own boots and bid eincredibly man to babsence his. Keep your very own hands in your own pockets. Pay cash, take cash.

In 1879 a number of UNITED STATE newsrecords publiburned a passage that employed the expression “keep your eyes on the stars” positively: 3

It is the organization of eincredibly guy to look up. Business is looking up, and also so ought we all. It is better to save your eyes on the stars and to stumble over a clod now and then than to look down so persistently that you are not aware that the stars exist. As Jerold states, if we did not come right into this human being to much better ourselves we can too have remained where we were.

Famous wit Oscar Wilde contained a quip stating the stars in his effective comedy “Lady Windermere’s Fan” which was staged in 1892 and publimelted in 1893: 4

DUMBYI don’t think we are poor. I think we are all great, except Tuppy.

LORD DARLINGTONNo, we are all in the gutter, yet some of us are looking at the stars.

Wilde’s remark served as a precursor, however its meaning differed from Roosevelt’s later guidance. Lying in the gutter indicated a flawed or fallen state while standing on the earth shown practicality.

In 1900 “The Brooklyn Daily Eagle” of Brooklyn, New York also reported on the speech of Theodore Roosevelt and presented the adhering to excerpt: 5

You should face facts as they are; you should confront guys as they are, and also having challenged the actual conditions you are bound to work-related for a betterment of those problems and to work for public righteousness. Keep your eyes on the stars, however don’t forgain your feet are necessarily on the earth.

In 1904 Theodore Roosevelt addressed the students at the Groton School in Massachusetts, and also his speech appeared in “The Grotonian”. Roosevelt employed the saying again, however he provided a various phrasing: 6

Be helpful and also generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, however remember to keep your feet on the ground. Be truthful; a lie implies fear, vanity or malevolence; and also be frank; furtiveness and insincerity are faults incompatible through true manliness.

In 1906 Roosevelt addressed the young women of the National Cathedral School of Washington, D.C., and he used a concise variation of the saying: 7

I have no sympathy through the orations of graduating exercises that put out a terrific ideal prior to students, which no one proposes to realize. A severe damage is obtained by any one that is aroused to a high conception which he stops working to apply.

Live approximately a high best. Have ideals that you can reach. Keep your eyes on the stars, but your feet on the ground. Never before loss brief of what you actually have the right to carry out.

In 1908 William Allen Harper published a piece in a spiritual periodical referred to as “The Herald of Gospel Liberty” that consisted of the following: 8

Keep your eyes on the stars, yet save your feet on the earth and also your hands at your task. Whatsoever before your hands find to do, do it through all your might—this is to lead the contented life, this is to acquire to the more abundant life.

The novelist and also theorist Ayn Rand wrote around a variant statement in her 1971 book “The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution”: 9

You have all heard the old bromide to the impact that male has his eyes on the stars and also his feet in the mud. It is typically taken to suppose that man’s factor and his physical senses are the aspect pulling him dvery own to the mud, while his mystical, supra-rational emovements are the element that lifts him to the stars.

This is the grimmest invariation of many in the course of mankind’s history. But, last summer, reality available you a literal dramatization of the reality. It is man’s irrational emotions that bring him dvery own to the mud; it is man’s reason that lifts him to the stars.

In 1982 a columnist in a Louisiana newspaper stated a motto employed by a famous radio broadcaster: 10

Casey Kasem, a renowned television and radio personality in the recording market, closes each show’s remarks by saying, “Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.” Kasem has managed to summarize in a concise expression the ideal setup for finding out your true potential. Strive at all times to improve your fitness level with calculated short and also lengthy array goals but never shed touch through fact.

Also, in 1982 the repertoire “Good Advice” compiled by Leonard Safir and also William Safire had a concise variation of the saying attributed to Roosevelt. This instance provided the conjunction “and” instead of “but”: 11

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.

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—Theodore Roosevelt

In conclusion, Theodore Roosevelt have to be attributed via the sayings he spoke in 1900, 1904, and also 1906. Partially equivalent expressions were circulating in the 1800s, however their interpretations were distinct. In even more recent years Casey Kasem voiced a variant saying.

Image Notes: Illustration of a perchild looking up right into a starry skies from Free-Photos at Pixabay

(Great many thanks to Alex Schmidt whose inquiry led QI to formulate this question and perform this expedition. Schmidt mentioned the sayings attributed to Theodore Roosevelt and also Casey Kasem.)