Victory is paid for in sweat, courage, and preparation.
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 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 and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for 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 he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
I knew tuitions were high and jobs were scarce. And I knew there was an alarmingly wider war spreading in Southeast Asia, which could require my military service. I hoped to marry but wondered when--or if--that could be, at least under all these circumstances. My educational hopes seemed like a never-ending path into the unknown, and I had hardly begun.
So before heading home I stood one last time on the cliffs of the country I had come to love so much,
This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle . . .
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war. [Richard II, act 2, scene 1, lines 40, 4344]
And there I read again,
We have before us many, many long months of struggle and suffering. What is our aim? . . . Victory--victory at all costs; victory in spite of all terror; victory, however long and hard the road may be. . . .
Conquer we must; as conquer we shall. . . . We shall never surrender.
Blood? Toil? Tears? Sweat? Well, I figured I had as much of those as anyone, so I headed home to try. I was, in the parlance of the day, going to give it "my best shot," however feeble that might prove to be. Now at the same time in your life, I ask you to do the same.
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