Saturday, December 09, 2017

Citizenship in a Republic AKA The Man in the Arena

In her book Daring Greatly, Brene Brown cites a speech given by President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt gave a speech in Paris in April of 1910. The title of this speech was known as Citizenship in a Republic. Over time, it has more commonly become known as The Man in the Arena. May I suggest that on occasion, perhaps at the beginning of a new year, we take pause to reflect upon which we are. Are we on the sidelines or are we fighting? I would also encourage that we not give time or mental space to those whose thinking is just as disordered (or more so) than our own.

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.

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