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.
Excerpted from a speech delivered at the Sorbonne, Paris, 23 April 1910
There is an old saying, "weapons are instruments of ill omen, despised by the way of heaven. To use them only when unavoidable is the way of heaven." The reason weapons are instruments of ill omen is that the way of heaven is the way that gives life to beings, so something used for killing is truly an instrument of ill omen. Thus the saying has it that what contradicts the way of heaven is despised.
Nevertheless, it also says that to use arms when unavoidable is also the way of heaven. What does this mean? Although flowers blossom and greenery increases in the spring breeze, when the autumn frost comes, leaves always drop and trees wither. This is the judgement of nature.
This is because there is logic in striking down something when it is completed. People may take advantage of events to do evil, but when that evil is complete, it is attacked. That is why it is said that using weapons is also the way of heaven.
It may happen that myriad people suffer because of the evil of one man. In such a case, myriad people are saved by killing one man. Would this not be a true example of "the sword that kills is the sword that gives life?"
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Now Darius had a clever groom, whose name was Oebares. When the council broke up, Darius said to him "Oebares, in the matter of the kingship, we are resolved that he shall be king whose horse, when we are all mounted shall first neigh at sunrise. Now do you devise by whatever cunning you can that we and none other may win this prize." "Master," Oebares answered, "if this is to determine whether you be king or not, you have no cause to fear; be of good courage; no man but you shall be king; trust my arts for that." "Then," said Darius "if you have any trick such as you say, set about it without delay, for to-morrow is the day of decision." When Oebares heard that he did as I will show. At nightfall he brought a mare that was especially favoured by Darius' horse, and tethered her in the suburb of the city; then bringing in Darius' horse, he led him round her near, so as ever and anon to touch her, and at last let the stallion have his way with the mare.
At dawn of day came the six on horseback as they had agreed. As they rode out through the suburb and came to the place where the mare had been picketed in the past night, Darius' horse trotted up to it and whinnied; and as he so did there came lightning and thunder out of a clear sky. These signs given to Darius were thought to be foreordained and made his election perfect; his companions leapt from their horses and did obeisance to him.
Some say that this was Oebares' plan; but there is another story in Persia besides this: that he touched the mare with his hand and then kept it hidden in his breeches till the six were about to let go their horses at sunrise; when he took his hand out and held it to the nostrils of Darius' horse, which forthwith snorted and whinnied.
I am a damned sight smarter man than Grant. I know more about military history, strategy, and grand tactics than he does. I know more about supply, administration, and everything else than he does. I'll tell you where he beats me though and where he beats the world. He doesn't give a damn about what the enemy does out of his sight, but it scares me like hell. … I am more nervous than he is. I am more likely to change my orders or to countermarch my command than he is. He uses such information as he has according to his best judgment; he issues his orders and does his level best to carry them out without much reference to what is going on about him and, so far, experience seems to have fully justified him.
Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
Some goddamn fool once said that flanks have got to be secure. Since then sonofabitches all over the globe have been guarding their flanks. I don't agree with that. My flanks are something for the enemy to worry about, not me. Before he finds out where my flanks are, I'll be cutting the bastard's throat.
Just because some jackass asserts a thing does not mean that it is worthy of refutation. If the same guy tells you that every space shuttle launch perturbs the Earth's orbit, and that the cumulative effects are just about to start the process of the loss of the atmosphere into space, thus creating a vacuum that will destroy all life on the planet in approximately 36 hours, would you deem this necessary to refute? How much time would you spend explaining to him why this cannot happen? Would not your time be spent better doing other things? And if you devise a concise explanation, why would you assume he would understand?
These penguins are all heading to the open water to the right. But one of them caught our eye, the one in the center. He would neither go towards the feeding grounds at the edge of the ice, nor return to the colony. Shortly afterwards, we saw him heading straight towards the mountains, some 70 kilometers away.
Dr. Ainley explained that even if he caught him and brought him back to the colony, he would immediately head right back for the mountains.
One of these disoriented, or deranged, penguins showed up at the New Harbor diving camp, already some 80 kilometers away from where it should be. The rules for the humans are do not disturb or hold up the penguin. Stand still and let him go on his way. And here, he's heading off into the interior of the vast continent. With 5,000 kilometers ahead of him, he's heading towards certain death.
Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!