It is not the critic who counts:
Not the man ho points out how the strong man stumbles
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 the dust and sweat and blood,
Who strives valiantly,
Who errs and comes up short again and again….
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,
He fails while daring greatly.” -Theodore Roosevelt
I was preparing my senior paper in college the first time I discovered this quote. I was comparing the Rizzo machine to the Daley operation. If my memory serves me well, I believe Rizzo had this quote in office.
This quote has always resonated with me. My parents always dared me to ignore societal rules or the "critics" and challenged me to pursue my version of the "American Dream." I am blessed to have such support throughout my insane chaotic journey.
Believe there have been times that I have felt as though I have been battered then tossed out of the arena, only to find myself landing in comfort of my family and friends. They helped me heal my wounds and supported me when I chose to return to the arena.
I will hang this quote my office. This, no doubt, is the only thing that I have in common with the late Frank Rizzo.