New Castle News

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September 5, 2013

Tim Kolodziej: Are you, and am I, willing to enter the arena?

NEW CASTLE — “Almost every single societal problem can be traced back to the feet of passive men.” — John Bryson

Would you?

I mean, would you be willing to fly to a foreign land to provide relief to earthquake victims — even if you knew your small plane could crash on the way?

Roberto Clemente did.

And look where it got him.

Would you?

I mean, would you be willing to fight for your country — even if you knew you would be spit on and mocked when you returned home?

Vietnam veterans did.

And look where it got them.

Would you?

Would you be willing to speak out for civil rights — even if you knew you would be pummeled, tossed into jail and ultimately murdered?

Martin Luther King Jr. did.

And look where it got him.

For certain, history has not been kind to those in the arena. Those with the courage to take a stand. Those who want to make a difference.

But President Teddy Roosevelt wasn’t one to be mired in history. I’ve always liked what he had to say about brave men.

“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 up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming. ... If he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

So, I ask again — would you?

I mean, would you be willing to pray for, serve, and even die for your worst enemy today — even if you knew it would get them into heaven tomorrow?

Christ did.

And look where it got us.

(Tim Kolodziej is executive editor at The News. To follow him on Twitter, CLICK HERE.)


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