I like to express myself at work. If I had my druthers, I would start every day blaring a song that fit the mood of the day. But I was never quite able to put together a large enough sound system. So I found another method.
I started digging up quotes to fit the mood and plastering them all over. While I found many, my safety manager brought me this one from Teddy Roosevelt. It immediately became my favorite because it expressed what the project team faced every day so it was soon posted in every office.
THE MAN IN THE ARENA
Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”
delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910
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.
Even though the words are written in a masculine tense, I believe this applies to women as well. We too should have the courage to stand up for what we believe in, to go for what we want to and to make things happen. This is what life is about.
Many women may not have been raised to believe we can or should go into the arena, that we can be bold or courageous. But if we don’t then we leave it to men to fight all of our battles and we return to a paternalistic society. The only way women can come into their own is by daring to enter the arena.
Empowered women dare to enter the arena.
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