Behind the Scenes: It’s Not the Critic Who Counts

“Behind the Scenes” it’s not the critic who counts. This is the vital lesson I have learned from Theodore Roosevelt’s “Daring Greatly” speech through the work of Brené Brown. (This is a mashup of my words with theirs.)

As the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association is in the midst of our annual elections, I have been thinking about this lesson and the way it comes through in my life.  The PSLA leaders before me and with me have stepped into the arena.  This did not happen by accident. This happened because we chose to be committed to the school library profession. We chose to be leaders (with or without a title).  We chose integrity by practicing our values rather than professing them. We chose to come together whether in agreement or not. We chose to lift each other up. We chose to leave our association and profession a little better off than the way we found it. 

This happened because we all chose courage over comfort.

…when you choose courage. When you choose to dare greatly, you will have your critics.  You will stumble. Your face will be marred by dust and sweat and blood.  You will make errors. You will be the ones who strive valiantly and come up short. You will fail.

But, it is not the critic who counts—not the critic who points out how you have stumbled.

It is the people who are in the arena with you that matter. The ones who will experience triumph with you when you achieve. The ones who will lift you up when you fail… while daring greatly.

Brown says, “Courage is contagious. Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.” We don’t do this alone.

With great hope, I look forward to working alongside the current board, the newly elected board members, our committee co-chairs, our leadership academy steering group and participants, and our members who lead in other ways as they walk in courage, lead our association… and step into the arena.

Ever Curious,

Allison Mackley
President, PSLA (PA School Librarians Association)
National Board Certified Teacher Librarian
Hershey High School
550 Homestead Road
Hershey, PA  17033
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