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.
Without a doubt, the most famous North Dakotan — even though he was born in New York. His Citizenship in a Republic speech is one of his most famous, and the excerpt from above is the probably the mostly widely quoted section, though throughout it’s 8700 words there are many profound thoughts and timely ideas. We’ll feature sections of this speech regularly in the daily quotes.
Originally published on The Minot Voice: April 21, 2015