Tuesday, July 30, 2019

‘Man in the Arena’ - Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt was born sick with incapacitating asthma. However, he overcame his health complications by embracing an energetic lifestyle. When he ascended to the presidency of US at the age of 42, he became the youngest ever to reach that position. His personality, knowledge and extensive interests on numerous areas made him one the best presidents of US. He understood the importance of nature and established several national parks, forests, and monuments to preserve nature. He also initiated the construction of Panama Canal, which not only transformed Panama and Americas but also revolutionized world trade. His successful efforts in brokering the end of Russia-Japan War earned him Nobel Peace Prize in 1906. Roosevelt also led a two-year expedition to Amazon river basin where he nearly died of tropical disease.

After leaving office on 1909, Roosevelt went on a hunting expedition in East and Central Africa and started a tour of Northern Africa and Europe. He attended events across African and European Cities'. On April 23 of 1910 he gave one his most memorable, most quoted speech known as 'Citizenship in a Republic' at Sorbonne, Paris in front of two thousand strong audience which includes ministers, army and navy officers, nine hundred students.

The most widely quoted paragraph known as 'The Man in the Arena' from that speech is given below.

"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."

- Theodore Roosevelt

You can access the full speech here - https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Citizenship_in_a_Republic

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