Friday, December 23, 2005

The Timid Soul

"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 in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...Who knows the great enthusiams, 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 have never known neither victory nor defeat.

- Teddy Roosevelt

This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. For many reasons, but foremost because it reminds me that my life was meant to be lived with a purpose; engaged in noble causes which life presents. What a waste it is to live and never feel that you have made a difference. One of my greatest personal fears is that I will leave this earth and not have somehow accomplished something meaningful. That when my time here is finished, I will have been one of the "cold and timid" souls.

I fear that this is what is happening is our society today. So many are afraid of the possibility of defeat when faced with a challenge, that the are compelled to inaction; or even worse, inaction coupled with criticism of those who tackle the challenge head-on. I don't know about you, but I would rather fail while attempting great things, than to succeed in all things mediocre. And I believe our present situation in Iraq is a great example of this. We are helping to create a democracy. Do you realize how significant this is? America is passing on a legacy (to a willing people) left to us by great men; which I believe is our responsibility. Yet as we strive in our attempt, as we taste the sweetness of success, we are constantly reminded of that imobilizing fear...the fear of failure.

Failure to us on the ground here, is not even a remote possibility. We do not fear failure, because we are not going to fail. What we do fear however, is inaction brought about by the timid soul. We fear that America will fall prey to those who would rather risk nothing and as a result, accomplish nothing. My brothers and I fear that America will one day no longer be seen as a country of pioneers and patriots, but a nation who is no longer willing to walk to the edge and take the leap; to be willing to risk failure in search of greatness. In Iraq, America has walked to the edge. We looked down and we saw the possibility of failure in every direction. And then, with a gentle nudge and whisper from our forefathers, we jumped and began to soar. Others,(insert appropriate country's name here), froze and faced about. And you know what? That's alright. Because I believe that history will show them to be exactly what they are, timid souls. No, we don't fear failure. We fear becoming that timid soul.

12 comments:

Barb said...

A great quote ... and a goal to strive for. Failure is not the worst thing. Mediocrity and refusal to make the attempt are far worse.

You have already accomplished meaningful things, doing the work you do makes a difference in the lives of other Marines, Soldiers (both US and Iraqi) and civilians. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree.

The nay sayers have a 1000 ways to tell us why what we do is imperfect. But not one of them have an alternative.

Remember what they (leftists) proposed for Saddam - that we should get some people in the M.E. go and talk to him and convince him to step down. Meanwhile he could go on killing 15,000 (or more) a hear and work on his nuclear program (just like Iran).

CJ said...

Good reminder. Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and to all your fellow servicemembers who are busy "taking the leap". You need not fear leaving this life without making a difference. You already have. Thank you!

Tara said...

Beautifully written.

Anonymous said...

usual load of crap from a Us tosspot who doesnt have a clue aboput the world at large. UK.

Anonymous said...

hey stevo, thanks for telling me about this blog.. you're spot on, US tosspot probably thinks Blair is a good man, when he's a bigger liar than Bush. JAM UK.

Anonymous said...

Jamboy, you are so right. Blair lied, and lied and lied again about WMD. Saddam had no more than two muskets and a rusty knife. WMD, load of bollocks. Want to bet this poor set of bloggers don't even have passports. I expect Texas is an exciting overseas adventure for them, poor sods. Stevo.

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DarkSock said...

Every post in this thread is depressing.

Not every Yank is a halfwit adventurist warmonger; "leftist" does not infer an inferior or bad person; patriotism is not a bad thing; etc ad nauseum.

You ass necks keep arguing; the other 99% of us manage to get along just fine.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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