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The Man in the Arena
I am repeatedly inspired by this passage from a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. The speech was titled “Citizenship in a Republic,” but would later become more widely known as “The Man in the Arena.”
Do you ever find yourself frustrated with the level of competitiveness in the world? Sometimes I feel we are all too focused on tearing each other down or snickering when someone fails. Sarah and I often preach that competition is necessary and important and that we have better things to do than spend our time worrying about what someone else is doing.
“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 the 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.” – Theodore Roosevelt