Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Critics

Came across this quote which I found very good.  It's on the topic of courage and criticism from a speech by Teddy Roosevelt.

"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 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 and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for 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 knew neither victory nor defeat."

"Citizenship in a Republic," Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
 
And now some insight from Dr Paul Debransky about the quote.
 
Roosevelt draws a sharp line between those who "know what they are talking about" because they are actually DOING something, as opposed to the world of mere "opinion." Anyone, competent or incompetent, ill-intending or well-meaning, can have an opinion...But those mature in character will probably probably offer some, or all of the following.

•They are generous, but not foolish with their resources
•They are wise - both ethical and shrewd
•They have great boundaries, and are respectful of themselves, and of you, even when you are wrong or failing.  (This is my favorite one, since at some point all of us with either fail or be wrong about something)   
•They are strong, and can withstand outside pressure from their personal life, pressure from your arguments at them, and outside pressure on your collaboration together
•They are leading, not controlling, and often serve you, as "servant leaders"
•They teach you all they know, without fear that you will overtake their knowledge, power, or position, but not to foolish degrees.  They in essence teach you to not need the teacher anymore, as opposed to a method that has you constantly relying on them.  

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