Good morning Tash Appreciators,
Welcome to the penultimate Tash Friday of 2013 – the first of a two-part Christmas Special. I’ll preface this week’s TF by saying that it may not seem all that festive but, fear not, it’ll all work out in the end.
I’ll start this week with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, which was sent to me earlier this week:
“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 know that many of our number have faced points in 2013 when they have felt very much like their faces are marred with dust and sweat and blood and when they can taste defeat. However, at the same time, the way in which those same people have conducted themselves after those points confirms the truth in what Roosevelt said.
Roosevelt was 42 when he took office: the youngest ever President. Becoming President also took him by surprise as he was sworn-in following the assassination of President McKinley. He must surely have felt at times that he was out of his depth.
However, just like all of those Appreciators who had to battle to get through 2013, Roosevelt did more than just survive – he thrived. His success was complete when he won a land-slide victory in the 1904 general election. Naturally, for a chap who was made of stronger stuff than the Average Joe, President Roosevelt wore an absolute stoater of a moustache:
The lesson which I will be taking into 2014, and beyond, is that our character is strengthened by adversity. This year may have been pretty rough, but as I will set out next week, there is plenty to be hopeful about as we head towards the New Year.
Just to finish this week, when I was reading up on Roosevelt, I found an interesting quote from Vice-President Thomas Marshall, who said after Roosevelt died in 1919:
“Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.”
I thought that was great.
Have a great weekend folks!