Monday, August 22, 2011

The Man in the Arena

The following passage is from Theodore Roosevelt's speech titled Citizenship in a Republic. It is also sometimes referred to as 'The Man in the Arena'.

Quote "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." Unquote

Isn't it a fact that effort and courage bring much more happiness than simple musings and yet many of us don't take that one small step that stands between mediocrity and glory.


VSB said...

This is a description of heroes, of those who spawn legends. Extremely inspiring.

VS said...

Yes, ordinary men become heroes by striving valiantly. :o)

elisa freschi said...

Great quote. But isn't it the case that without a suitable critic making him re-consider what he's doing from a different perspective, the man in the arena might keep on fighting against an imagined bull, while the real enemies are already next door? I appreciate Roosevelt's speech, but I think it should incorporate also brave critics (the ones who do not only point out trivial typos or minor points)!

VS said...

Elisa, that's a good thought. There are times when the call for action is clear, but nobody is certain of the course of action. At these times its the man who dares to enter the arena who makes the difference.