Jacob Riis on Perseverance
Jacob Riis was a pioneering photojournalist, the first of the muckrakers. A Danish immigrant, he championed the poor and the homeless of New York City for decades as a journalist, pioneering photographer, author and public speaker. He struggled to make the middle and upper classes of America care about the poor and their suffering. It was an epic task, at which he was only partly successful. But this quote is attributed to him, and it’s not a bad way to approach life:
When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Riis’s birthday was May 3, 1849. In celebration of that birthday, WC resolves to keep Riis’s observation in mind as WC hammers away at the intellectual know-nothings, the perversities of avian photography and the imbecilities of Palinistas. And, oh yes, the Chicago Cubs.