It's not the critic who counts

. 1 min read

Theodore Roosevelt was apparently a great man. I didn't know him personally (duhh) and I know very little of him in general but his speech from 1910, Citizenship in a Republic, says a lot about him. And that's all it takes for me to like him.

In the speech, there's one specific section that gets quoted the most and usually referred to as The Man in the Arena. You can google it. Here's the beginning of it:

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.

This is great. I mentioned last week on the Worth in Progress YouTube site, in one video in the War of Art series, that people who are consumed by Resistance and who haven't turned pro and with whom the Muses do not walk, are often the ones that criticize others. And while Roosevelt and Pressfield (the author of The War of Art) are talking about slightly different things - although pros are definitely in the arena - one thing remains the same: critics are pussy losers who will never attain glory and who will vanish into oblivion.

Do you want to be a pussy loser who never attains glory and who vanishes into oblivion?

That's what I thought.

There might be reasons to criticize others. Maybe you want to make yourself feel better. Maybe you truly believe your words to be constructive. Maybe you want to direct attention away from your own deficiencies. But does any of your reasons actually make your own life better? I highly doubt it.

Critics are overly concerned in the lives and deeds of others - so much in fact that they fail to focus on bettering their own lives, their own progress, and their own well-being. Soon enough they find themselves on their deathbeds, having achieved nothing in their lives, still pointing out how the strong man stumbles.