On April 23rd 1910, Theodore Roosevelt said in a speech, “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.” To the people who spend their life criticizing from the sidelines - I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry that you will never know the joys of succeeding in something you spend years working towards, that you feel so disappointed at the direction of your own life that you lash out at others.
To those struggling through the “arena” of life - keep going. Keep your head up, and your heart strong. The ups and downs of this life can dirty you up and tire you out, but seeking out the passions that set your heart ablaze will always be better than sitting on the sidelines and living vicariously through the lives of others, allowing your jealousy to seethe through like overflowing sewage.
Roosevelt gave this speech over 100 years ago - before the day and age of social media - long before comparison became the greater issue that it is. Ergo, humanity has always been the same. The time is different, but the problems are the same. So throw off the ties that bind you, the things that prevent you from pursuing that which is worth it. Don’t be afraid to step out in faith. Don’t be afraid to be like the man in the arena.#sundaymusings