THEODORE ROOSEVELT SAID “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in if it is not a reasonably good place for all of us to live in.”

Presidents Day, which we celebrated Feb. 15, officially honors the birthday of George Washington, which is Feb. 22. But the holiday also commemorates all past presidents of the United States including the birthday of Abraham Lincoln that was Feb. 12. It’s complicated. Look it up if you need to know more.

Because our democracy is under fire from all sides, I found the following words of counsel and caution from past presidents that might offer some guidance forward.

For example, Harry Truman said “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

John Kennedy counseled “Let us not seek the Republican or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past, let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

“America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world,” said George H.W. Bush.

Washington said “No country upon Earth ever had it more in its power to attain blessings than united America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which providence has pointed out to us so plainly. I cannot believe it will ever come to pass.”

“I appeal to you again to constantly bear in mind that with you and not with politicians, not with presidents, not with office seekers, but with you, is the question ‘Shall the union and shall the liberties of this country be preserved?’ ” said Lincoln.

Franklin Roosevelt said “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel in order to be tough.”

Ronald Reagan asked “How can we love our country and not also love our countrymen?”

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost,” said John Quincy Adams.

Rutherford Hayes said “Unjust attacks on public men do them more good than unmerited praise.”

Lincoln foresaw Twitter users when he said “In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and eternity.”

Kennedy said “Too often, we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it. The tree is the real thing,” said Lincoln.

“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both,” said Dwight Eisenhower.

“It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power, each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own,” said Herbert Hoover.

Franklin Roosevelt said “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

Thomas Jefferson said “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

“Democracy is not so much a form of government as a set of principles,” said Woodrow Wilson.

Washington learned “It is infinitely better to have a few good men than many indifferent ones.”

Truman urged us to remember “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”

These quotes were amassed by Tom Blair.