Thursday, July 23, 2015

There's A Critic In Every Crowd

"It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic is of altogether secondary importance, and that, in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things."

~ Theodore Roosevelt
Matinecock Lodge No. 806,
 Oyster Bay, N.Y.

I used this quote the other day, and it is one of my favorites.  Teddy talked about critics on a number of occasions.  He certainly had a lot of them, and as most doers do, for the most part the only attention he gave them is when he ridiculed them.  And he seemed to enjoy doing that a great deal.  So do I.  I've had my share of harsh critics.

I wish I could say critics don't bother me anymore--that's not entirely true.  I guess I could say critics don't bother me as much as they used to.  What helps me is to remember is that people that elevate themselves by tearing others down are seldom successful.  

I've had my leadership ability questioned hundreds of times over the years, but seldom by anybody with any experience or ability.  And you'll find when I critic is put in charge of something, it seldom goes well--and it's always somebody else's fault.  

I've had my writing ability criticized, but never by anyone with any writing experience.  

I've even had my intelligence questioned--recently!  A couple weeks ago, I foolishly got involved in a Facebook conversation.  It was about current events.  It was about American history.  It was about politics.  Kind of my specialty, right?

Now this guy didn't know who I was, but he was somebody that has a difficult time dealing with facts.  He couldn't challenge my facts, because they were correct, so he called me a few names.  Then he questioned my intelligence.  My education.  My background.  Finally, he asked me where I went to law school.  Apparently, you can't have any knowledge of history or current events without a law degree.  I realized I was probably dealing with a law student, so being a person that doesn't take themselves too seriously I told him I didn't go to law school--I just drive an ice cream truck part-time.  Well, as it turns out, he wasn't an attorney either--but he had a friend that was a judge, and his wife works in a major legal firm.  I guess if your wife works for an attorney and your friend is a judge, you can put that on your resume as experience and knowledge . . . who knew?

It's a good thing to be criticized--it means you're doing something.  Keep doing it.  It doesn't mean you have to listen to it.  The best way to beat a critic is to prove them wrong by being successful.  And always be polite--as my grandmother used to say repeatedly "there's no excuse for bad manners."  And that rule should apply most especially when your dealing with disagreeable people--it builds character.    Like a silver bullet to a werewolf, or a wooden stake through the heart of a vampire, there are four words that will destroy a critic--I told you so!  Be nice when you say them though. 

~Todd E. Creason

1 comment:

  1. [It's a good thing to be criticized--it means you're doing something.]

    I will agree and keep doing what I do, while those who criticize do nothing but criticize and watch.


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