Monday, April 1, 2013

It's Not The Critic

Aristotle says

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 did this for a monologue in my speech class my freshman year in college.  From that point on it has been an encouragement to me.  Standing on the side lines doesn't impress anyone.  It reminds me of a devotion I just read about a man who was running his first marathon and was struggling about half way through.  He heard someone on the side lines yell out "look at that guy! He's not gonna make it!"  The runner heard him yelling and got motivated thinking about how that guy was standing on the side lines, hadn't run a step, and was criticizing him!
Are you running the race, are you in the arena?  Or are you the critic on the sideline?

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