The Man In The Arena

Peace and Blessings to All.  May your days be pleasant, and your life a success.  And may love come to you as you are, wisely giving as it is freely received.

As we have been working diligently preparing to launch the online store, I often tap into my memory of inspirational stories and quotes. Of the many examples that come to mind, the famous passage often quoted from the speech given by President Theodore Roosevelt echoes loudly from within.

Historian Erin McCarthy wrote: Roosevelt railed against cynics who looked down at men who were trying to make the world a better place. “The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer,” he said. “A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticize work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life's realities—all these are marks, not ... of superiority but of weakness.” Then he delivered an inspirational and impassioned message that drew huge applause:

"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."

With all that's going on in our country and around the world, from rampant gun violence, cultural xenophobia, and Trumpian politricks, to wars and rumors of wars, its easy to feel powerless as an individual wanting things to change without the wherewithal to make it happen. I believe most people tend to focus on the daily challenges of family, home, work, etc.  When it comes to society level stuff, we be thinking: Ain't nobody got time for that.  All the recent craziness with 45 is often best summed up by news pundits and comedians like Trevor Noah.  Check out one of his latest videos:

After all that, a couple more quotes come to mind as antidotes to apathy and complacency.  The first is from Brother Malcolm X, delivered in a speech at a debate held on December 3rd, 1964 at Oxford Union:

Malcolm X time for change quote from Oxford Union speech

"You're living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there's got to be a change.  People in power have misused it and now a better world has to be built and the only way it's going to be built is with extreme methods.  And I for one will join in with anyone, I don't care what color you are, as long as you want to change the miserable condition that exists on this earth."

The above can be applied to skin color, gang color, fraternity or sorority colors.  That's why the first guiding principle of Kap Apparel is Umoja ~ Unity: To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.  We stress the importance of togetherness, which is reflected in the African proverb - I am because we are.  None of us came into this world alone, and no one can survive and prosper in life without giving and receiving help.

This next quote is often shared by one of my mentors whose work ethic and dedication to the struggle inspires and motivates me to keep pressing forward to achieve my goals.  If you get a moment, you should check out his work at www.TheFratorHeruInstitute.org and www.ECBACC.com.  Margaret Mead said:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Encouraged by that, I looked to see what other profound things she has said, and I found this:

"If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place."

With that bit of wisdom, we look forward to exploring the vista of creativity that Kap Apparel Limited will share to make the world a better place.

In the meantime, KEEP CALM and LOVE ME is one of our designs you might be interested in getting for yourself or a friend. Also available in long sleeves or sweatshirts of various colors. 

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