Love Self

Silence of a Critic, part 1

Photo by Shamia Casiano on Pexels.com

When I worked in the construction industry, one of my first projects was a building renovation. I was given instructions and then a sledgehammer. I beat the mess out of that place. I was eighteen years old at the time, and I thought to myself, people get paid for this? Awesome! I proceeded to learn how easy it was to tear down other people’s work. What took who knows how long to build up was easily tore down in a matter of hours. There I stood in a pile of rubble, proud of my work, examining all the damage I caused.

In the time that followed, I did more building up than I did tearing down. I couldn’t believe how long it took to do everything. Part of the reason it took such a long time was because my boss made sure I did things right. He taught me to do excellent work. One of the reasons he remained so busy was because he always did quality work. As such, he built a reputation in the area for his workmanship, which led to his prices being a little higher than the competition. An interesting thing though, was that his repair work often came from the clients who hired the cheapest contractor in the area.

I did more demolition work before moving on a year later. One thing was for sure, I learned about how easy it was to tear down what someone else struggled to build up. After a quick browse of popular online content today, it was evident that critics are some of the most employed people in the world. But for a job that pays zero income, it’s a wonder they are so dedicated! Is there a secret reference manual that teaches ignorance, cruelty, and degradation? Comment sections become a public forum, issuing a challenge to think of the worst things to say about a person or their work. Like sharks in a feeding frenzy, the comment sections often explode with hostility.

Something I am extremely grateful for is that the people who put out great content never stop to let negative criticism slow them down. There is definitely a place for criticism, but I’d argue the way it is shared is not often constructive. It should not be at the other end of a loudspeaker, broadcasting for the world to hear. Nor should it be in the headlines of the news for the world to see. Our objective in criticism is to get the best out of something or someone, not to bring utter shame and humiliation. I can’t remember who it was that said it, but years ago I heard a statement about how we communicate with each other. The man said to put “Grandma” at the end of what you say. For instance, “Everything you do is trash, Grandma!” My goodness no would ever say that to sweet grandma.

No matter how excellent content is, some people will never be pleased. They’ve studied their Hatred 101 reference manuals like they were studying for the SATs, hoping to get into an ivy league school. If you ever get bogged down to point that you are questioning everything because of what a select few say, reevaluate. Rather than devote your energy to a crowd that will never be pleased, devote it to your followers who are satisfied with your content. Doing this will help you stay positive and put out magnificent work because that is what you do!

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