The Man in the Arena

Today in History, April 23: 1910 – “The Man in the Arena” speech. After his presidency, President Theodore Roosevelt went on safari in Africa, collection countless specimens for the Smithsonian. He then took a tour of Europe and was received with great fanfare and accolades, both from the common man and royalty. On this date he gave a 35 page speech entitled “Citizenship in a Republic” about the responsibilities involved at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. A segment on page 7 became an inspirational and historic passage. “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.” I have this passage framed and posted on the wall in my office to remind me to maintain my fortitude on those days when people or events seem determined to break my will to do what is right. Thank you Mr. President. 

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