Critics Don’t Count

For all my fellow leaders who are taking risks, striving and erring and spending yourselves in a worthy cause… may you be inspired by these memorable words from one of America’s most courageous leaders.

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.

– from Teddy Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship In A Republic,” delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

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  1. Great words from a great American leader calling us to forsake our emotional slavery to the critic’s power. I shared this with my 5 boys last week and we were all challenged to risk defeat for the benefit of Kingdom victories.

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