Some time ago I posted on Facebook, a picture of each of the leaders of the political parties currently represented in the New Zealand Parliament, above the “Man in the Arena” quote from Theodore Roosevelt. The challenge was for my Facebook ‘friends’ to acknowledge the work of these people in trying to create a better and fairer New Zealand, regardless of their political persuasion.
Sadly very few bothered to take up the challenge. For too many it seems that they could not support their favourite leader if that meant also acknowledging the work of an opponent.
I believe, that the modern media is where things are ethically unraveling for us as a society. That said the media are profit making organisations and will respond to what we the consumer demand and allow. ‘The media’ is no longer as we have always understood it to be, a reliable and unbiased reporting of well researched and proven facts. Social media has broken those chains that used to bind our media. Anyone can be a reporter and personal opinions or view points are fine.
The faces we see on TV are more concerned with self-promotion than they are with integrity. Why wouldn’t they be, after all this is how they make their money. The value of their own brand And their is good money to be made. The cult of personality.
The murder of British MP Jo Cox last week was a horrid thing. More so because regardless of what anyone may think about her political leanings, here was a woman that like all of our politicians, was doing her best for her country and millions of people that she had and would never ever meet. Sadly, she made the ultimate sacrifice.
Now, I have never been a great fan of New Zealand political reporter Patrick Gower. I have thought for a long time that he has been unfairly critical of our Government and its politicians. He has never been concerned with hiding his own political allegiances. His criticism have been at time unnecessarily personal. But I have to give this man a deal of credit and I hope he does follow through on his own words, when in commenting on the death of Jo Cox, he said something like: “understanding now, more about the sacrifices they make, I think that I have been too harsh on our politicians. I need to rethink the way I think about them.”
I have to admit to letting out a small ‘hoop and a hollah’ when I heard him say this.This after all is what I’ve been talking about. Finally someone understands.
So once again I will post this image and this quote, and invite you, my readers, to show how gracious you can be.
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.
THE MAN IN THE ARENA
Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”delivered
at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910