Monday, 7 May 2012

The Man in the Arena - Theodore Roosevelt

Have you ever, by any chance, read "The Man in the Arena" by Theodore Roosevelt ?

I say "chance" because it was by chance that I came across it. I was searching for a wallpaper of Rudyard Kipling's "If". I've been wanting to have that as my desktop wallpaper for some time now. I chanced upon the wallpaper in a website "The art of manliness" - they were announcing posters that are now available for purchase. The first one, "The Man in the Arena" by Theodore Roosevelt caught my eye and I enlarged it to see what was said. The website boasted of 'manliness' as an art and so I thought it'd be worth to check that out. And yes, how true it was. I read it, was spellbound, and just sat in silence for a couple of minutes. Or it must be my mind playing tricks because I thought I sat in silence. Sometimes when you find something give form to a feeling that you have, in a way that matches the feeling, you feel happy. I mean, I do. I have to write this down tonight, I told myself. Serendipitous discoveries really have a thrill that very few things can match!

Here's the poem and picture directly linked to the website (I guess there would be some copyrights, so I didn't reproduce the pic. But the problem with linking the pic directly is that if they link, this would be useless. Anyway, that's alright.)

"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 by Theodore Roosevelt

Hats off to you, Mr.Roosevelt. That was fantastically said.
(Do visit The art of manliness if you want to buy the poster. By the way, I have no affiliation whatsoever with that website)

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