Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Man Cave: The Man in the Arena

Theodore Roosevelt is the manliest president the US has ever had. He was a hard-core, kick-butt-and-take-names, man's man to the bone. He hunted and fished, rode horses, went on African safaris, and was basically an all-around powerhouse of personality. He loved the outdoors, and is responsible for our national park system. He is also responsible for one the best quotes in the history of talking.

 The quote is from a speech delivered by Theodore Roosevelt in Paris, on April 23, 1910. The speech was called "Citizenship in A Republic". The entire speech is worth reading, but there is one particular passage about half-way through that has become a personal mantra of mine. This passage is widely known as the "The Man in the Arena", and its sentiment dovetails perfectly with my definition of strength from last week's Man Cave.

So with no more ado, and without further guilding the lily, I give you "The Man in the Arena": 

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.

That, my friends, is strength.

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