None of us get out of life alive so be gallant, gracious, grateful.

I came across Jake Bailey's speech via Ken Robinson's twitter feed. The full transcript is linked here. It is a precious talk on many levels. Below are a few headlines.

 

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. Bernard of Chartres compared us to dwarfs perched on the shoulders of giants. He pointed out that we see more and further than our predecessors, not because we have keener vision, nor greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature and knowledge.
 
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.
 
Moral strength is about making a conscious decision to be a person who doesn’t give up, when it would be easy to. To be lesser because the journey is less arduous. Jim Rohn said ‘Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you. Of course doing this will mean at some point we may have to face our fear of falling short. Fear of looking like a fool. Fear of not being enough. Being Senior Monitor meant facing these fears, most often daily.'
 
But none of us get out of life alive so be gallant, be great, be gracious, be grateful for the opportunities you have.

 

Andy Smithymanquotes, speech