bagheeraface

The Man in the Arena

In Political, Quotes on October 20, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Today is the first day of Theodore Roosevelt Week wherein I post a particularly quotable Rooseveltian gem and comment on it. This quote below is from a well-circulated speech entitled “Citizenship in a Republic.” It is one of his most famous speeches. Since I am particularly tired this evening all I will say is that this is one of my most favorite quotes of all time. Period. Enjoy.

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. – From a speech at the Sorbonne, April 23, 1910.

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  1. I think I have a crush on Teddy Roosevelt.

  2. This has long been one of my favorite quotes from any elected leader (its my email signature in fact). I think it is so easy to sit back and be a pundit or armchair coach, but it does take a major amount of courage to speak up, especially in the face of adversity, and be yourself and fight for your convictions.

    • Absolutely, James. It’s easy to be against something, but quite different to be for something. Not only that, but to be so for something that you are willing to speak up in it’s support and face criticisms in spite of it.

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