POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

Staying in the arena

The following is a quote that perhaps many of you are familiar with. It is an excerpt from a speech given by the former president Theodore Roosevelt. It was given at the Sorbonne in Parish in 1910 during the years immediately after Roosevelt’s two terms as President (1901-1908). 

Though there is perhaps much to delight in and perhaps vehemently disagree with regarding Roosevelt and his views, his desire to be a doer and not merely a spectator or empty talker on the roads of life is commendable: 
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.
Theodore Roosevelt, The Man in the Arena, 1910. Available online at http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html
For those who further interest in Theodore, by all means begin here