Zach’s poem is not really a poem, but an excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 by Theodore Roosevelt.
It spoke to me for him.
THE MAN IN THE ARENA
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.
I love the first couple of lines about the critic; something that can sometimes be a struggle, especially when one is competitive in nature:) (Sorry, my son, you got that from me.)
I love even more the visual of the fight, the struggle. The hard work, determination, and passion it takes to just get in there. These are all characteristics that I think of when I think of Zach. My hope for him is he always continues to dare greatly, that each victory or defeat in his life is seen as a triumph – for the success, or the experience.