Today is my birthday!
As the moon makes its transition to the state of being fully illuminated, I will move into another year with a fervent prayer for my own illumination about the paths I must follow. One thing that has become clearer to me as I’ve gotten older and that is so eloquently articulated in the famous Theodore Roosevelt “Man in the Arena” speech is the value of courage.
I came to know of this speech from writer and social work professor Brene Brown, whose scholarship highlights the crucial role of vulnerability in our search for joy. As I step into a new year, I wish for courage for myself and for you so that as we age and perhaps begin turning away from our dreams towards the safe shelter of settling, we find the will to hold our ground in the arena and “dare greatly” no matter our age.
“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.”