When we are able to look in the mirror, speak the truth of our experience, our true masculine strength and courage comes forward. That is where the learning and growth that propels us forward--into the next challenge, into the next success--resides! That is where we discover the inner strength to get back on the bucking bronco of life to keep doing what needs to be done in order to fulfill our responsibilities and realize our dreams. That is "daring greatly," when we are able to look back at our failures and know that we were all-in in our efforts, then there is no place for shame to reside in our lives and we can hold our heads high.
This is the masculine principle that incorporates both the heights of our strengths and the realities of our humanity, allowing us to be whole and vulnerable, beyond the isolating myths of invincibility, machismo, and the lone cowboy riding the range. As men, and as boys, we need all parts of our selves to be active and online to fully support us in our adventures, our greatest challenges, and our hard won victories.
"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 in 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..." -- Theodore Roosevelt, 1910.
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