There comes a time when only other people's words are closely sufficient to describe your mind. The past month I could not find words for what I think. Not the right ones any way. But then I read the speech our Minister of Public Enterprises (yesterday) where the Honorable Malusi Gigaba responds on the State of the Nation Address and quotes USA President Theodore Roosevelt:
"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 and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, 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 he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
And I know this to be true - in a way I could not begin to express it. And maybe that is why there were so few words the past few months - with even poems drying up and lyrics blurred. Because I have been in the arena myself - "marred by dust and sweat and blood..." in a harsh economic environment, and on a lonely, tough personal journey filled with disappointment in people I trusted to be around. But at times, I would glance to the sides of me, to find there some great friends and colleagues that sacrifice a lot to "strive valiantly" and with "great devotion" to a worthy cause, or simply to be there for me - living beyond their own comforts, and their own narrow lives of bliss and pleasure. These selfless ones are the people I respect and admire. The people I will always remember with fondness - so very different from the "cold souls" who walked away with so much disrespect, or the cruel critics that could not possibly matter - remembering the magnitude of what we have endured. Today, I thank you for the words, Mr Roosevelt.