Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quotes As Guiding Principles

Today I added a quote in the heading of my blog from Haile Selassie, the former Ethiopian Statesman and Emperor, from 1930 to 1974. I think the quote, along with a couple from Teddy Roosevelt, capture my belief regarding political activism. From the pages of the history books, Teddy has always been a hero to me. He called them like he saw them, and if that meant calling out his own Republican Party at times, so be it. Teddy Roosevelt was the original straight talker. Fighting political corruption, even within his own party, didn't finish Teddy's political career as today's timid politicians think. It made him wildly popular among the public.

Here now are my two favorite Teddy Roosevelt quotes. The quotes along with Selassie's define the difference between being a politician and being a statesman.

"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

"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."

1 comment:

Pearse said...

We simply do not have public figures saying things so eloquently anymore. The ability to lay out a thought or ideal like that, and then truly follow through on it is something we desperately need.

Teddy's "people" would have to issue an apology to people with "cold and timid souls" almost immediately today.