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The Man in the Arena


The Man in the Arena

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.  He who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, 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 he fails while daring greatly.  So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knows neither victory nor defeat.’


Excerpt from an address from Theodore Roosevelt 1910.

A Plea for tolerance

"We have held the peculiar notion that a person or society that is a little different from us, whoever we are, is somehow strange or bizarre, to be distrusted or loathed.  Think of the negative connotations of words like alien or outlandish.  And yet the monuments and cultures of each of our civilisations merely represent different ways of being human.  An extraterrestrial visitor, looking at the differences among human beings and their societies, would find those differences trivial compared to the similarities. 

The Cosmos may be densely populated with intelligent beings.  But the Darwinian lesson is clear: There will be no humans elsewhere.  Only here.  Only on this small planet.  We are a rare as well as an endangered species.  Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious.  If a human disagrees with you, let him live.  In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another."

Carl Sagan

"Who Speaks for Earth?," Cosmos, p. 339.