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 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 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.
My doctor read this to me last week at my last visit with him since I contacted West Nile Virus. What a gift it is to have a physician who not only helps to heal your body but heals your soul at the same time. My belief is that we must consider the whole person in any healing effort in order to be successful. There are so many different aspects to our lives and all of them play an important part in our health.
We are all the man in the arena at different times in our lives whose face is marred by dust, sweat and tears as we try to understand this thing called life. Working hard to regain my strength this past year I have fought valiantly to be able to stand and walk once again. Many times I failed but as I persisted my strength increased and little by little I was able to function. I came out with a stronger sense of gratitude for the smallest things in life and an appreciation of all those who stood by and supported me. So as I struggled through the failures I have come to a place of victory beyond anything I have known before.