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It is not the critic who counts …

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, and 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 know neither victory nor defeat.

-Theodore Roosevelt

"Citizenship in a Republic," Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

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  1. ROBB LEJUWAAN August 10, 2008 at 11:54 am #

    Wow, now that is a quote! This is why I am careful to learn from people who “have been there.” Most of the time I see reading and listening to theorist and observers or people with knowledge but little experience a waste of my time.

  2. Eamon August 13, 2008 at 5:53 am #

    Firstly, this is one of my favourite blogs on the web.
    What you achieve in your approach to marketing is, surely, what all companies would like to achieve for their brands, too.
    And I really like the creative approach (well, you couldn’t not be creative – creative-thinking – in this line of work).
    Anyway, just like to say that delighted to include your blog in my Top 100 Advertising, Marketing, Media & PR blogs, overall (where each blog entry is placed in a particular genre – plus you get to get your own ..).
    Eamon from

  3. Jeffrey Simons August 13, 2008 at 8:47 am #

    Hi Andy:
    I’ve always loved this quote, but having become something of a critic now that I’m a blogger, I saw it through different eyes. In today’s wired and connected world, turning a critical eye on an unexamined inequity or duplicitous practice is one of the best ways to begin to change it. In Roosevelt’s time, it may have taken direct action to confront an issue, especially since the media frequently served its own interests and followed its own agenda. But I would submit that Upton Sinclair writing a book like The Jungle counted — he didn’t pass any laws, he didn’t start a union, all he did was… criticize. (Well, and then he sent the book to Teddy Roosevelt, which got TR interested enough to send investigators, which resulted in the passage of Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug act of 1906 which established the FDA. (according to Wikipedia!) And I’m betting the “strong men” running the meatpacking plants cursed Sinclair as they stumbled.

  4. Edwin August 13, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    Very wise qoute and oh so true..
    For film reviews I tend to follow bulk reviews on film review sites instead of a one-guy- having-a-bad-day-opinion in a paper or magazine.

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