Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Beautiful Quote

I have completed viewing two episodes of another Ken Burns Masterpiece -- "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History."  Teddy Roosevelt the early 20th century president has been the focus.

There are some great men and women who drop by our home for a visit, knock on the door and, while not perfect men or women, do some perfect things which help us all.  Teddy Roosevelt, I believe, was such a man -- a rough rider, a bull moose who had a violence in temperament to be sure but also possessed a softness of soul. 

He spoke the following words I thought to share because they are so poetically beautiful and profound in context.  They encapsulate a part of who he was:

“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.”

Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic" delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

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