The Credit Belongs to the Man Who is Actually in the Arena

With PBS calling attention to an American family tonight with The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, I thought it would be appropriate to acknowledge my favorite quote from a member of the clan. I tip my hat to Theodore Roosevelt, in many ways one of the original “muddy boots” guys.

“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.”

In an age where political correctness seems to dominate, I honor the individuals who stand and take risk and live with the consequences both good and bad. Better to stand for something than to drift through life. To live a life with passion, with focus, to live an interesting life. These are the men and women I respect.