Tuesday, March 07, 2006

True Credit

It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong stumbled or where the doer of the deed could have done 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 and comes up short again and again. Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumphs 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 know neither victory or defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), "The Strenuous Life" (speech)

There are always people ready to point out shortcomings, so every step taken is bound to be critiqued by someone with issues. I try not to take to heart things said by anyone who elects themselves judge and jury over me. I worry more about how I will view my own face in the mirror than I do about what someone so narrow-minded will think, or say, or do.
I believe the world is heaped full of wounded warriors, each battling to take, re-take, or over-take the pieces of fractured self that become misplaced so easily upon the battlefield. The one's struggling with reclaiming parts of their own being and growing in wisdom deserve as much credit as any other soldier fighting for freedom anywhere. More often than not all they receive is censure aimed at slowing them down or new obstacles put in the way by people who are threatened by any show of strength.
Any worthy cause deserves your all, and I cannot think of any cause more worthy or just than investing in yourself. Once a warrior is strong he can struggle on to fight for something grander, but if he never enters the battle at all he never knows real freedom. The possibility of failure is an asinine reason to refuse to fight. If nothing is ventured then failure is certain. Frankly, it makes no sense to dread something on the one hand while creating it with the other. I am instantly respectful toward any human being who drags themselves out of their rut to travel a higher road. I gladly fight beside such warriors who may not win every battle, but always win the war. They are more beautiful to me with all their scars and seeping wounds than the fairest of the rut walkers.
Dare to climb the walls that keep you plodding upon the same old tired path. Care not if you win or lose, focus upon the delight you feel at winning the freedom to really live. That is the real war, and well worth any wounds suffered to win a victory.