The kids in the arena

Teddy Roosevelt is responsible for many of the collections of words that I love.

Today, as I set out to join the young people for the Global Climate Strike , I am reminded of Roosevelt’s speech, given at the Sorbonne in Paris over 100 years ago. The full speech is titled “Citizenship in a Republic” but this oft-quoted section is referred to as “The Man in the Arena”.

The bravery of Greta Thunberg and the tenacity of the kids {and adults} she has inspired over the past 13 months, remind me of this speech. Hopefully today’s strike will be attended by millions globally, and will show the leaders of the world that we won’t stop until they take action.

“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.”

For our leaders, it is too late for words. Along with many across the world, our government in Australia are an absolute embarrassment!

We ALL need to act NOW for the future of our planet. The disastrous effects of climate change are being felt around the globe. We need to INSIST on change from the highest levels of government. Immediate, tangible, change.

I hope you are joining a local strike, and if you can’t attend in person, please show your solidarity via social media channels.

My double-sided chalkboard sign for today’s march:

#globalclimatestrike #schoolstrikeforclimate #australianparentsforclimateaction #climatecrisis #fridaysforfuture #climatestrike #actnowforclimate

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