"When you’re getting kicked in the rear, it means you’re in front” is often credited to Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979), but there is insufficient documentation to confirm this. The saying has been cited in print since at least 1954.
A similar saying is, “If you’re not catching flak, you’re not over the target.” Both sayings have been popular in business and in politics.
Wikipedia: Fulton J. Sheen
Fulton John Sheen, born Peter John Sheen (May 8, 1895 – December 9, 1979) was an American archbishop of the Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. His cause for canonization for sainthood was officially opened in 2002, so he is now referred to as a “Servant of God”.
Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919, Sheen quickly became a renowned theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923. He went on to teach theology and philosophy as well as acting as a parish priest before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York in 1951. He held this position until 1966 when he was made the Bishop of Rochester.
8 November 1954, Newburgh (NY) News, classified ad, pg. 18, col. 2:
...In being kicked in the rear is that it can’t happen unless you are out in front.
28 April 1957, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “The Modern Almanac” by Herb Daniels, pg. C6:
The way we figger, if you get kicked in the rear, it must mean you are out in front.
6 October 1967, new Orleans (LA) Times-Picayune, pg. 17 ad:
Don’t worry if you get kicked in the rear. It simply means you are in front.
5 March 1968, St. Albans (VT) Daily Messenger, “Everywhere” by Walter Winchell. pg. 2, col. 1:
Most interesting Quotation Marksmanship (credited to A. Lasker) in the new Sabbath-blatt: “Don’t worry if a rival imitates you. When he’s following in your tracks, he can’t pass you”...Soooo-troo, but Fulton J. Sheen said it ages agoooo, to wit: “Don’t worry about getting kicked in the rear. It means you are in front of the kicker.”
14,000 Quips and Quotes for Speakers, Writers, Editors, Preachers, and Teachers
By E. C. McKenzie
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House
To reach the front many a man has to be kicked in the rear.
Caught between the dog and the fireplug, or how to survive public service
By Kenneth H. Ashworth
Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press
If you are getting kicked in the rear, it means you are in front. — Chinese fortune cookie
Business Wit & Wisdom
By Richard S. Zera
Washington, DC: Beard Books
When you are getting kicked in the rear, it must mean you’re in front. —Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Lessons learned from a lifetime of leading
By John C. Maxwell
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson
Pg. ? (Chapter 4):
WHEN YOU GET KICKED IN THE REAR, YOU KNOW YOU’RE OUT IN FRONT
Life Changing Thoughts: Thousands of Inspiring, Life-changing, and Humorous Thoughts
By Gary W. Smith
Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse
When you get kicked in the rear, at least it means you are out in the front.
Media Matters for America
Huckabee On Criticism: There’s A Saying, “When You’re Getting Kicked In The Rear, It Just Proves You’re Still Out Front”
March 09, 2011 9:32 am ET
From the March 8 edition of WGKA’s Denny Radio:...
New York City • Government/Law/Military/Religion /Health • (0) Comments • Monday, July 11, 2011 • Permalink