Think Before You Act
Then Dare Greatly

While I am not claiming to be one of the greatest men in the arena of life, Teddy Roosevelt was, but I am trying to follow his derring-do. He would ride into all sorts of life’s battles like he did on San Juan Hill with great courage and determination. However, he thought and planned all his actions prior to daring greatly.

A model of derring-do

I want to emulate Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena. He delivered a speech, Citizenship in a Republic, at the Sorbonne in Paris over a century ago on April 23, 1910. The following is the Man in the Arena paragraph about daring greatly.

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.

It is essential for me to hold both his derring-do and daring greatly in all my activity in life. Before flying off to see a part of the world during my recent winter break from teaching, I thought about my flight to visit my family in Myanmar. However, before arriving in Myanmar, I stopped in Lahore, Pakistan to visit the family of Sandy, my web administrator, and seeing the salt mine nearby.

Therefore, I needed to fly from Chicago to Istanbul, Turkey and then onto Lahore, Pakistan. With all the unrest in the Middle East, I had some reservations about flying east, but it is closer than flying west to Pakistan and then backtrack to Myanmar. I had no problems with my flight plan and landed safely in Lahore where I met Sandy’s brother her parents. The next day, Sandy’s father, brother, a friend of the family, and I went to the salt mine.

Had my flight been a month later, I would have been flying over the area where two Iranian missiles shot down the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, which was flying from Tehran, Iran to Kiev, Ukraine. The missile attack took place only several minutes after the plane took off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport. The Iranians thought that the US was starting an air war with Iran.

Had my teaching schedule been different, I could have been on that plane. Stupid thinking by Donald the Dumb combined with Iranian commanders who also lacked thinking, I would have not gotten even close to Pakistan or Myanmar.

Nevertheless, my life continued. After several days in Pakistan, off I flew to visit my family. It was the greatest of all my trips. As with all wondrous things, I had to return to the States to teach and care for Ginger. I flew to Hong Kong. I had toyed with the idea of landing in Hong Kong and taking a day to look around at the city. However, since 2019, political protests have filled the streets of Hong Kong. Exactly a year ago, on March 15, 2019, the protest movement started. Hong Kong residents didn’t want a proposed extradition bill passed, along with loss of the autonomy from mainland China.

I was aware that there were even more massive protests in the airport, which I consider my overseas office. However, these protests occurred about five months prior to my landing in Hong Kong in early January of this year. I didn’t read about any planned protests again in the airport. Therefore, when I left Myanmar, I flew to Hong Kong. My desk and eateries were fine, and I used my four-hour layover to study before my flight to Chicago.

However, this is what it looked like in August 2019.

Having escaped the massive flight delays due to thousands of protesting Hong Kong students, I was happy to return home safely. Ginger, my eighty-pound Irish Setter, was even happier to see me. I returned to teaching and taking care of my pooh dog. However, then I heard Donald the Dumb, our fake president, took control of our response to the coronavirus outbreak.

That was certainly a reassuring opening statement of our fake president. He will be able to handle the coronavirus like everything else he has tackled in the White House. Donald the Dumb also said, “I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star ... to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius ... and a very stable genius at that!”