Armchair Critic

Never criticize unless you have a fix. Otherwise be silent, even to yourself.

Todd Beal

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About Todd Beal

I love truth and its facts. I love thought-provoking conversations that give both the other person and me a better understanding of a particular topic. I love to find answers to life-long questions; answers that let me see things for what they are instead of what they seem to be. I truly enjoy being in the midst of a group of people where all individuals are joining in, where everybody is enjoying the company of each other. I relax in the company of individuals who are competent yet humble. I like to catch myself doing or saying something ridiculous and then laugh my head off. I enjoy my church and being involved.
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2 Responses to Armchair Critic

  1. I love that thought, especially the last phrase, “even to yourself.” Writers really need to internalize that.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      The initial seed for this statement took root from a conversation I had several years ago. My best friend, who became friends with a classical music critic, was quoting from some of that gentleman’s published reviews. The man laid it all out on the table, strongly objecting to what was wrong with certain compositions and performances, but not once did he offer a solution, only criticism. As a result, his antagonism achieved two things within the classical world: it left the problem intact and drove people away; the opposite of what he was trying to accomplish. He increasingly grew angrier because they wouldn’t change and the artists increasingly felt more criticized, feeling they could do no right.

      My personal experience, both with others and my own tendencies, is that the majority of all criticism comes from us seeing our imperfection reflected in the behavior of others. Of course this can be a positive if we use it as the impetus to solve the problem instead of demanding it go away. Unfortunately, usually we’re either too ashamed or too self-righteous to let that happen.

      In regard to your last sentence, absolutely, and this statement applies to me before anyone else. Understanding this principle opened my eyes to my behavior toward others. Until last week, I could not fully understand how my critical attitude hurt others (even with the honest intent of proclaiming truth). I visited Single Dad Laughing (post: “The Disease Called Perfection”) and immediately felt checked to reexamine my motives. Although I wrote this statement in 2008, visiting that post and reading the comments changed me (a most humbling experience). It made me realize just how much I do not want to hinder someone from finding the love and restoration truth gives because of my critical attitude.

      Todd

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