Not of my creation.  I was reading something that made me think of this.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

— Teddy Roosevelt

And while I am at it, here are a couple more of my favorites, “Man In The Glass” by Dale Wimbrow.

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,

And the world makes you King for a day,

Just go to the mirror and look at yourself,

And see what that man has to say.


For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,

Whose judgment upon you must pass.

The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the man staring back from the glass.


You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,

And think you’re a wonderful guy,

But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum

If you can’t look him straight in the eye.


He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,

For he’s with you clear up to the end,

And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test

If the man in the glass is your friend.


You may get what you want down the pathway of years,

And get pats on the back as you pass,

But your final reward will be heartaches and tears

If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

And the last one for now:  The Torch Bearer.  
“The God of High Endeavor gave me a Torch to bear,

I lifted it high above me in the dark and murky air;

And straightway, with loud hosannas, the crowd proclaimed its light

Till drunk with the people’s praises and mad with vanity

I forgot ’twas the Torch they followed,

And fancied they followed me.


Then slowly my arm grew weary upholding the shining load,

And my tired feet went stumbling over the dusty road.

And I fell with the Torch beneath me. In a moment the light was out,

When lo, from the throng a stripling sprang forth with a mighty shout

Caught up the Torch as it smoldered, and lifted it high again,

Till, fanned by the winds of heaven, it fired the souls of men.


And I lay in the darkness, the feet of the trampling crowd

Passed over and far beyond me, its paeans proclaiming aloud,

And I learned in the deepening twilight, the glorious verity,
 
‘Tis the Torch that the people follow, Whoever the bearer be.”
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