May, 1994

Graduation

I found a copy of my graduation speech the other day packed up in a box.

There were the usual parts – thankfulness, gratitude, and then this quote from Theodore Roosevelt …

 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.

A lot has changed in 18 years, but a lot has stayed the same.

It’s not the critic who counts (not even the one in your own head), it’s the doer of the deed. Get busy so you can either know the triumph of high achievement or the failure that sometimes comes with daring greatly. Either way (usually both) don’t be with those cold and timid souls!

 

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About melindamcguirewrites

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ------ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, 1950
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2 Responses to May, 1994

  1. That was a serious speech. I wish I’d written something like it. Maybe someday I will.

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