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.
When I was a boy, I heard a story of 2 frogs who had fell into a well. One of them could hear and the other could not. Other frogs gathered around the top of the well and jeered at the two in the well.
As the two frogs tried to climb out, they would slip and fall back down. The mocking would intensify as those watching declared they would die due to their folly.
The frog who could hear, lost hope and perished. The deaf frog however, could only see the faces and excitement in those silhouetted above. Not knowing they were jeering; he thought they were cheering. He triumphed and made it out.
Though a fable, the frog story has stayed with me for over 50 years. I am careful who I listen to. Due in part to that goofy old fable.
Think About it
I am fully aware of my stumbles, dust, sweat, blood, errs and shortcomings. Threats of potential failure hang like road signs along every curve in life’s journey. Like billboards along a highway telling an expectant mother there is a 1 in ## chance her baby will have a disorder.
Protection is often a thankless task; where seldom is heard an encouraging word. But you do it anyway; it’s what you are called to do.
When billboards and critics declare your failure or dismiss your effort, consider them the mocking toads they are.
Your place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.