For the Doers of Deeds

A wise quote, one of my favourites, for all decision makers, leaders and ‘doers of deeds’:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the person who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person 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.

(Theodore Roosevelt)

Image source: Gladiator (2000 film), Dreamworks.

12 thoughts on “For the Doers of Deeds

  • The problem is when the doer of deeds is is psychopathic or fails to learn from his or her follies. Also the critic is not necessarily a person who is not also a doer of deeds. Roosevelt did much good. He also failed to lift a finger about the refugee boat the St Louis. Just as we in Australia fail to help the Rohyngas many of whom drowned seeking asylum with the survivors now in refugee detention in Northam for over 7 years.
    Stalin, Polpot, Duterte, etc. and to a lesser extent, our own hard hearted Peter Dutton would like that quote.
    I don’t. It seems a self serving quotation for people who have sought leadership and are not getting their own way.


  • Yesterday, I wrote a critical comment on this quote. It was to be reviewed by the moderator. It has disappeared. That has never happened to me before. Does this mean that those Roosevelt type ‘doers’ brook no criticism, even from those who might also claim to be ‘doers’? A self -serving quote by a leader who would have a more exalted position in history had he listened to some of his critics, eg. the cruel St Louis refugee boat tragedy.


    • You have made some good points and I’m sorry for not publishing your comment in its entirety. The reason is that it could have been perceived as hurtful by certain people – although it probably was not intended that way. I’m happy to discuss this further with you offline; you have my contact details. Thanks for taking the time to comment here.


  • on racgp site Cum Scientia Caritas may be translated: “with skill, tender loving care”. I went for charity with knowledge before looking at the answer


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