The Man in the Arena

by Jeff Hilimire on September 5, 2012

Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech in 1910 entitled, “Citizenship in a Republic“. This is a quote from it that people have dubbed, “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.

It is so much easier, and common, for people to criticize than to be the person making the tough decision. It is easier to point out his or her shortcomings, where they made their mistakes, why they aren’t doing a good job or how differently you would have done it.

The world needs more people getting into the arena and less people sitting on the sidelines taking each and every opportunity to point out how the people in the arena are failing. The greatest failure of all is not trying to make a difference.

Make a difference.



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