Category

Poem

Category

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as days go by,
always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
and hate myself for the things I have done.

I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
a lot of secrets about myself
and fool myself as I come and go
into thinking no one else will ever know
the kind of person I really am;
I don’t want to dress up myself in sham.

Keep yourself in fighting trim. If the worst is bound to happen, Spite of all that you can do, Running from it will not save you, See it through!

See It Through’ by Edgar Albert Guest is a poem about navigating the trying and tough times. Guest urged the reader to meet troubles, tribulations and challenges face to face. The poem echos the truism: “Until you handle it with grace, it will stay in your face.”. As Martin Luther King Jnr. once quipped: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” See it through!

“Until you handle it with grace, it will stay in your face.”.

When you’re up against a trouble,
    Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
    Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it’s vain to try to dodge it,
    Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
    See it through!

The poem “After a while” is mostly attributed to Veronica A. Shoffstall and a Spanish version attributed to Jorge Luis Borges.

After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn
That kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman*
Not the grief of a child*

And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
And with every day, you learn.

Aprendiendo by Jorge Luis Borges.

“Después de un tiempo, uno aprende la sutil diferencia entre sostener una
mano y encadenar un alma.

Y uno aprende que el AMOR no significa acostarse.

Y que una compañía no significa seguridad, y uno empieza a aprender ….

Que los besos no son contratos y los regalos no son promesas, y uno empieza
a aceptar sus derrotas con la cabeza alta y los ojos abiertos, y uno aprende
a construir todos sus caminos en el hoy, porque el terreno del mañana es
demasiado inseguro para planes … y los futuros tienen su forma de caerse
por la mitad.

Y después de un tiempo uno aprende que, si es demasiado, hasta el calor del
Sol puede quemar.

Así que uno planta su propio jardín y decora su propia alma, en lugar de
esperar a que alguien le traiga flores.

Y uno aprende que realmente puede aguantar, que uno es realmente fuerte, que
uno realmente vale, y uno aprende y aprende … y así cada día.

Con el tiempo aprendes que estar con alguien, porque te ofrece un buen
futuro, significa que tarde o temprano querrás volver a tu pasado.

Con el tiempo comprendes que sólo quien es capaz de amarte con tus defectos
sin pretender cambiarte, puede brindarte toda la felicidad.

Con el tiempo te das cuenta de que si estás con una persona sólo por
acompañar tu soledad, irremediablemente acabarás no deseando volver a verla.

Con el tiempo aprendes que los verdaderos amigos son contados y que quien no
lucha por ellos tarde o temprano se verá rodeado sólo de falsas amistades.

Con el tiempo aprendes que las palabras dichas en momentos de ira siguen
hiriendo durante toda la vida.

Con el tiempo aprendes que disculpar cualquiera lo hace, pero perdonar es
atributo sólo de almas grandes.

Con el tiempo comprendes que si has herido a un amigo duramente, es muy
probable que la amistad jamás sea igual.

Con el tiempo te das cuenta que aun siendo feliz con tus amigos, lloras por
aquellos que dejaste ir.

Con el tiempo te das cuenta de que cada experiencia vivida con cada persona
es irrepetible.

Con el tiempo te das cuenta de que el que humilla o desprecia a un ser
humano, tarde o temprano sufrirá multiplicadas las mismas humillaciones o
desprecios.

Con el tiempo aprendes a construir todos tus caminos en el hoy, porque el
sendero del mañana no existe.

Con el tiempo comprendes que apresurar las cosas y forzarlas a que pasen,
ocasiona que al final no sean como esperabas.

Con el tiempo te das cuenta de que en realidad lo mejor no era el futuro,
sino el momento que estabas viviendo justo en ese instante.

Con el tiempo verás que aunque seas feliz con los que están a tu lado,
añorarás a los que se marcharon.

Con el tiempo aprenderás a perdonar o pedir perdón, decir que amas, decir
que extrañas, decir que necesitas, decir que quieres ser amigo, pues ante
una tumba ya no tiene sentido.

Pero desafortunadamente, sólo con el tiempo…

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 the 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.

Former President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, delivered the ‘Citizenship in a Republic’ Speech at the Sorbonne in Paris on April 23, 1910. The speech is one of the most quoted Roosevelt speeches, and it is popularly known as “The Man in the Arena.” speech. The man in the arena portion is one of the most quoted and notable section in the speech. The speech was part of a larger trip to Europe that included visits to Vienna, Budapest, and Oslo.

After leaving office in 1909, Roosevelt left New York for the Smithsonian-Roosevelt African Expedition, a safari in east and central Africa. He served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He remains the youngest person to become President of the United States, he assumed the presidency at age 42.

Man in the Arena Speech

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 the 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.

man-in-the-arena-speech

Shame on the man of cultivated taste who permits refinement to develop into a fastidiousness that unfits him for doing the rough work of a workaday world. Among the free peoples who govern themselves there is but a small field of usefulness open for the men of cloistered life who shrink from contact with their fellows. Still less room is there for those who deride or slight what is done by those who actually bear the brunt of the day; nor yet for those others who always profess that they would like to take action, if only the conditions of life were not what they actually are. The man who does nothing cuts the same sordid figure in the pages of history, whether he be cynic, or fop, or voluptuary. There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of the great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder. Well for these men if they succeed; well also, though not so well, if they fail, given only that they have nobly ventured, and have put forth all their heart and strength. It is war-worn Hotspur, spent with hard fighting, he of the many errors and the valiant end, over whose memory we love to linger, not over the memory of the young lord who “but for the vile guns would have been a soldier.

Man in the Arena in popular Culture

Former president of post-apartheid South Africa Nelson Mandela is said to have given a copy of the Man in the Arena speech to the captain of the South African rugby team, François Pienaar, before the start of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, in which the South African team defeated the All Blacks New Zealand team.

American author Brene Brown got the inspiration for the title of her 2012 book from the speech. In the book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, she writes about the speech:

“The first time I read this quote, I thought, This is vulnerability. Everything I’ve learned from over a decade of research on vulnerability has taught me this exact lesson. Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.”

“Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.
When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make.

Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience. We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be—a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation—with courage and the willingness to engage. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly.

Bene Brown also paraphrased the Man in the Arena speech in her 2012 TED talk speech: Listening to Shame.

Lebron James

LeBron James writes “Man in the Arena” on his shoes before every game. In his 2018 podcast interview with author and podcaster Tim Ferris, Lebron speaks about his love for the Man in the Arena quote:

Tim Ferriss: And it’s, I think, the consistency which is such a focus for a lot of, at least, my listeners when they’re looking at your career. It’s been astonishing to watch over time. And many people want to know about the habits or the reminders, things along these lines. And one of the things I came across – I don’t know if it’s true, you could tell me. But did you at one point have Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” quote in your locker?

LeBron James: I still do.

Tim Ferriss: You still do. Why –

LeBron James: I write it on my shoes every game too.

Tim Ferriss: All right. Why is that important to you?

LeBron James: It just hit home for me at a point in time where I was listening to people that I shouldn’t have been listening to, meaning there are always people out there that are going to judge you and critique you and say that you should do this, or you shouldn’t do that.

And at that point in time, I wasn’t mature enough to just believe in the decisions that I’ve made. And I’m a true believer in the more and more that you listen to things like that, then it’ll creep into your mind, and you start to believe it. And once I started to study some of the great leaders that we’ve had in our time, I ran across that quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “The Man in the Arena.” For our listeners that don’t know about it, it’s basically saying that it truly doesn’t matter what anyone says because they’ve never stepped inside the arena. They’ve never had the blood and the sweat and the tears or paid their dues inside the arena. So they can’t really understand or critique you about what’s going on in your life. And that hit home for me. And that stuck with me to this day.

It’s basically saying that it truly doesn’t matter what anyone says because they’ve never stepped inside the arena. They’ve never had the blood and the sweat and the tears or paid their dues inside the arena. So they can’t really understand or critique you about what’s going on in your life. 

The Man in the Arena quote is one of my favorite speeches of all time. As a creative, you need to trust the process, ignore the naysayers, bet on yourself, and continue to execute day in, day out. Like Roosevelt aptly said, “It is not the critic who counts; the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood.”

All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support,

To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,

This person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the backyard patio with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it. I turned the dial up to listen to a Saturday morning talk show I heard an older sounding gentleman, with a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whoever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles”.

Is anybody happier because you passed his way?
     Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today?
This day is almost over, and its toiling time is through;
     Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you?

Did you give a cheerful greeting to the friend who came along?
Or a churlish sort of “Howdy” and then vanish in the throng?
Were you selfish pure and simple as you rushed along the way,
Or is someone mighty grateful for a deed you did today?

Can’t is the worst word that’s written or spoken;
Doing more harm here than slander and lies;
On it is many a strong spirit broken,
And with it many a good purpose dies.
It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning
And robs us of courage we need through the day:
It rings in our ears like a timely-sent warning
And laughs when we falter and fall by the way.