on criticism


To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)

crit·ic Pronunciation Key (krtk)
  1. One who forms and expresses judgments of the merits, faults, value, or truth of a matter.

I am known to be a critic.

I do not see this as a flaw, although I know of several others who disagree with me. Not to place blame, but rather to analyse the origin of my critical nature I look to my early days as a student. Each afternoon I would arrive home from school, fresh with my praises and complaints about the day. My darling mother would patiently listen to my observations but only if I could justify my position with reasons why I did or did not like something and what would improve the situation. This was a daunting task for a young child, but my little mother knew that I liked to talk and making me think about what I was saying and kept me quiet for a few minutes at a time.

I still very much need to vent at the end of the day. I have learned that not everyone is as receptive to my comments as my mother was and still is. I criticize not the complain, but to assess what I think is good and bad in an attempt to foster improvement. But to many I am just a complainer, and a constant one at that. I sense their suspicion that I have a difficult personality and that I can never be satisfied with anything. Be conscious, however, that I am equally as suspicious of people who seem to have no issue with anything and accept what comes to them without any question.

If we do not challenge, how do we ever make things better? I am a critic because I am an idealist, and a constant one at that.