Monday, August 18, 2008

It is not the critic who counts....

The Olympics are well underway and while it is a great testimony to dedication and has also made us all critics!

My family was watching the synchronized diving and suddenly we were all experts. Every last one of us was being critical of the divers and the judges, discussing, over our bowls of popcorn, the merits of one dive against another. Later it was gymnastics and the floor exercises as we all watched eagle-eyed to see if they stepped on the line or out of bounds. Forget the fact that they just executed a perfect triple flip with and inverse half twist I saw her bobble on that dismount!

How easily we sit back in our comfortable chairs and talk about the poor performance of someone who has been training thousands of hours for this event - somehow we think, since we know a few terms, that we are the experts.

Teddy Roosevelt said this far better than I ever could so let me give you his words.

"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."

Powerful words aren't they?
It is not the critic who counts.
So while I may critique the Olympians all I want from my living room, my words hold no weight. I am not with them in the arena, nor have I ever attempted a triple flip with an inverse twist...

So remember that when you are in your own arena and there are those around you who are critical of your actions or execution; and you know there will be!
It is not the critic who counts.
Their words, as impassioned as they may be, carry no weight.
Those who are sitting around eating popcorn while you are in the midst of it doing the work, can have all the opinions they want, but they just don’t matter!

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