Posted: January 1, 2017 in Uncategorized
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Every once in a while I hear something and it is like a needle piercing the inner recesses of my mind while it is branded forever on the frontal lobes of my brain. It may not be anything significant to the average reader but for some reason it makes a lasting image on me as it relates to other parts of life. This recently happened to me as I watched a reality show being broadcast on the History Channel. Something that would have taken days of research twenty years ago is now available within minutes on the internet. Thus I pulled up a few words and attributed it to the author and there appeared the full speech of one of the most iconic Presidents of our great nation; Theodore Roosevelt, a man that embellished the true spirit of our country.

The speech was given in 1910 at the Sorbonne in Paris and many believe it to be one of the most inspirational speeches of the century.  The delivered message is long but the excerpt that is so often quoted is much shorter and follows:

“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.”

This speech embodies the spirit that built America.  The early immigrants did not come to America in an effort to be able to perform no work, nor did they come to this great new land to seek a complacent lifestyle and they certainly did not come to the new world in search of mediocrity.  Some were resounding successes while many more did not completely realize their dreams.  The one thing that did bond these men and women was that they tried and as a combined community did build the greatest nation in the history of the world.

It was easy for individuals to remain in the old world, sip the wines of their country’s wealth and talk of how great and successful their own countries had become and relish in complacency while ridiculing and laughing at those that would dare to seek a new and different life. Alas, it was the individual that dared to be different and most importantly “try” to achieve what had not been attempted, to build what had not been built, to dream what had not been dreamt and just as importantly to ignore the critics that would attempt to disparage those that tried to achieve new goals.

The world is full of advice givers; those that have not dared to move outside of their comfort zone to attempt to do what they feel is slightly alien.  These are the people that are comfortable with the world as it exists and would prefer for a government to provide all the necessities in life instead of experimenting with life.  These are the ones that criticize others that dare to attempt something different, the ones that enter the arena.  When I started my first book I was told that I would find that it is easier to be a critic than and author.

Unfortunately, with the advent of social media and other rapid communication technology it is easier to be critical of others failures instead of praising the attempt.  It is so critical that we get our country refocused.  We must provide the individual leadership to move America forward and most importantly praise those that are trying to make positive changes instead of blowing up small failures into a major issue that are nothing more than teething issues.

Happy New Year everyone.  2017 is going be a roller coaster ride so enjoy the journey and stay focused on what is truly important to our country.

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