Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Man in the Arena

Tonight while doing some administrivia, I listened to Brene Brown's  2nd TED talk on Vulnerability.
IN it she quotes Roosevelt and cites his quote as a lifesaver. It made me think about my nephews who are hockey players. I want to post this note on their Facebook walls next time they have a massive loss in the arena. Maybe I should even message them. Anyway, here from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic" delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 :
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."

I really appreciate that part about the critic not counting. I've had a couple of finger pointers around me, and I tell you, inviting them to participate in that which they are criticizing in order to improve it sure has a way of sobering up their drunken revelry of blame. I don't feel shame for trying, nor a need to make excuses for the "do" of others. Cold and timid souls, enjoy the sidelines.

   download PDF of complete speech  


Unknown said...

Wow, this speaks to me. This past month was one of the toughest I've faced in a long time. Failing - is difficult to say the least. How to turn it around in the face of failing is sometimes even more difficult. The main thing is that it takes a great deal of insight not to blame the blamers - but to figure out why they feel it necessary to blame. It can be incredibly humbling to keep moving forward - but it is necessary.

Greg Wooley said...

Thanks, Marty. The internal and external critic really are like the leather-lunged guy at a football game, lots of bluster but you don't see him actually down on the field. Keep on truckin' - trust yourself and leave the critic on the sidelines (or in the bleachers). Cheers.

river rider said...

You're right Greg. Thanks for reading and the comment.