Who is the man in the arena from Theodore Roosevelt’s famous speech?

The man in the arena is everyone who has chosen to live their own lives.

They accept victory and failure alike. They know that they are responsible for their lives.

Those who criticize have no power over them.

 

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; 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.

∼ Excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s  speech “Citizenship In A Republic”

You can read the full speech here.

A piece of paper with the headline, "The man in the Arena" in black letters, quote "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; 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." by Theodore Roosevelt from Citizen in a Republic

 

There are no mistakes in life if you are out there trying every day. Victory and failure are inseparable. If you first have victory you still must learn from failure. You will stumble, but you will learn and grow. Victory will come again.

If you begin with failure, you will no longer fear it. You will have earned your victory and you will remember your failures. Your humbleness will keep you from becoming the critic.

Criticizing someone else means that you’ve given up on yourself. Their “victory” comes from the failure of others. But what life is that. Live your life, be “the man in the arena”. The critics have already lost.

 

Inspirational Theodore Roosevelt Quotes

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

A mountain and a river and an orange sky, quote "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Theodore Roosevelt Quotes

 

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

A half moon in a black sky, headline quote, "Believe you can and you're halfway there." by Theodore Roosevelt

 

“When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt
“To educate a person in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt
“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt
“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt
“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt, Strenuous Life

 

“I am a part of everything that I have read.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first and love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer ‘Present’ or ‘Not Guilty’.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Politeness [is] a sign of dignity, not subservience.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“We despise and abhor the bully, the brawler, the oppressor, whether in private or public life, but we despise no less the coward and the voluptuary. No man is worth calling a man who will not fight rather than submit to infamy or see those that are dear to him suffer wrong.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“The joy in life is his who has the heart to demand it.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“If given the choice between Righteousness and Peace, I choose Righteousness.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“It is not often that a man can make opportunities for himself. But he can put himself in such shape that when or if the opportunities come he is ready.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political, and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted, if there is to be room for healthy growth.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Only those are fit to live who do not fear to die; and none are fit to die who have shrunk from the joy of life and the duty of life. Both life and death are parts of the same Great Adventure.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“I am only an average man, but by George, I work harder at it than the average man.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

 

“In life, as in football, the principle to follow is to hit the line hard.”

∼Theodore Roosevelt

What do these quotes mean to you?

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