This passage by Theodore Roosevelt, widely regarded by historians as one of the greatest American presidents, in a speech, Citizenship in a Republic, I dedicate to you, the hero of Immigrant Life:
The Man in the Arena
“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.”
You, the immigrant, are the man in the arena. You, are the one who left your comfort zone for a strange land. You, are the one who left the known for the unknown. You committed to a new beginning, to restart life. You are fighting for your life and the life of your loved ones.
Sometimes you feel your back is facing the wall. You cannot go back. But there is no door or windows in the front to get out. But there are crevasses. You will get out through those cracks. You will carve your own path. You will launch new trajectories, for yourself and many others who follow. You will not stick to convention. You will not hold on to the past. You will write a new present.
That move to leave your country, community and comfort behind was bold. That first step was hard and there might be more. But if you moved continents then you can do anything and everything.
Congratulations for all that you did to make this country, Canada, your home. You are on your way to being a better version of yourself! You will find fulfillment every step of the way.
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