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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Critics Abound - But do they matter?

Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
                                    Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962)

I understand what Eleanor Roosevelt meant in this quote about criticism. We are all criticised at one time or another, and it can be painful. Unwarranted criticism makes us question ourselves. But if we do what we feel in our heart is right, and we know that we don't deserve what the critics say about us, it is somewhat easier to take. 

Recently I read a post by a well-liked poet who writes the best blog on poetry and was shocked to find that since his new poetry book came out, critics have crawled from under the rocks to defame him. These critics, of course, have the power of the Internet, the anonymity of Facebook and Twitter as a forum to spew hurtful comments upon this fine young man.

We have always had mean-spirited people in the world and the Internet has provided them a platform to vent their anger and jealousy. Jealousy is a major reason that unqualified critics take potshots at others. 

Often we have no idea that others are jealous of us. When we hear their hateful remarks or when they whisper gossip they know will upset us, we are dumbfounded at first. Later as it all sinks in, we have to talk to ourselves and realize that this is just a part of life.

We want to believe in people, we want to think that our friends are happy for our success, not resentful. This reminds me of another quote I have found to be so, so true.

In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.    John Churton Collins

Have you ever been hurt by criticism? How did you respond?


tipper said...

Glenda-good post! In my life-I've found both quotes to be true : )

Anonymous said...

You are so right, Glenda. The social media of today is a mecca for those who are small minded and jealous and want what others have worked to achieve. Since they can't do it on their own, they try to bring down those who can.

Anonymous said...

I was hurt by criticism once by my father. When I was in high school, I had big dreams of becoming a singing sensation. Since I couldn't see to read music, I learned songs by ear. I would accompany my singing on the piano. One day, Dad said, "You don't know a diddly damn about the piano." He was drunk at the time so I probably shouldn't have taken him seriously, but I did.

I think now he's sorry for that. On the rare occasions he hears me sing, he always says he loves my voice. To make a long story short, I eventually abandoned my dreams of being a singer and am now a writer.