Wednesday 24 September 2014

The Man in the Arena

A friend, knowing my fondness for Henley's poem Invictus, just referred
me to this excerpt from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt. The words are
inspirational, and remind me vividly of one or two people I know.

"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, who 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 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 worst, if he fails, at least fails
while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold
and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

- Roosevelt, "Citizenship In A Republic", 1910

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