Risking nothing of consequence

“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 … .” (Theodore Roosevelt)

In the past few weeks, there have been ongoing discussions about bullying and unfair criticism about our elected officials here at the local paper. Now while I believe that clever and heated debating brings out true motives and hopefully good ideas that need to be shared with the people, we need to step back on occasion and remember that we are not the men and the women in the proverbial arena. We are mostly just people that bicker among ourselves and risk nothing of consequence. They are the people that don’t get to take a break from the choices and decisions they make every day. It’s part of the job to expose yourself to the spectators pointing their fingers at you through blogs, letters to the editor, forums and even twitter messages. It takes a special person to choose a life of public service.

So when you feel the need to be negative about the brave men and women in the arena like Barack Obama, Ted Cruz, Michele Bachman or Joe Manchin, just keep in mind they are the ones that dare greatly and do not need the critic as much as the critic needs them. While concurrently we critics should not take ourselves too seriously when we talk among ourselves.

James Kendall