“… we enter life with a heritage that reaches back through the ages. But we do not choose our ancestors. When we come into the world the gate of gifts is closed behind us. We can do nothing about it. So far as each individual is concerned all he can do is to take the abilities he has and make the most of them. His power over the past is gone. His power over the future depends on what he does with himself in the present. If he wishes to live and progress he must work.”
The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, 1929. p. 37
The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge (1929) is available for free on the Internet Archive.