I've had a pretty difficult few weeks learning to deal with criticism. Criticism is not something that I've really had to deal with to much in my life. But as situations and circumstances have changed for me I'm now available for all to critique and examine and sometimes people can be pretty cruel.
Last night I was thinking some things over and trying to figure out how to respond or not respond to several different criticisms that have come to light recently. For some reason I picked up a Dale Carnegie book that I had laying on the floor in my office and began to flip through it. He had a section on dealing with criticism and I turned immediately to it.
Now I know that criticism can be a good thing. Many times in the past I have had to deal with criticism that was justified. I messed something up, I did something wrong, I was lazy, I was uninformed; I learned from those situations and they helped to make me a better person. I've never had to deal with unjust criticism before. It's a little different, it doesn't benefit me, it doesn't encourage me. Then I read this:
"An event occurred in 1929 that created a national sensation in educational circles. Learned men from all over America rushed to Chicago to witness the affair. A few years earlier, a young man by the name of Robert Hutchins had worked his way through Yale, acting as a waiter, a lumberjack, a tutor, and a clothesline salesman. Now, only eight years later, he was being inaugurated as president of the fourth richest university in America, the University of Chicago. His age? Thirty. Incredible! The older educators shook their heads. Criticism came roaring down upon this "boy wonder" like a rock slide. He was this and he was that - too young, inexperienced - his educational ideas were cockeyed. Even the newspapers joined in the attack.
The day he was inaugurated, a friend said to the father of Robert Maynard Hutchings: "I was shocked this morning to read that newspaper editorial denouncing your son."
"Yes," the elder Hutchins replied, "it was severe, but remember that no one ever kicks a dead dog."
Yes, and the more important a dog is, the more satisfactions people get in kicking him..."
The next time you feel unjustly criticised, first consider if the criticism is true and see if you can benefit from it. But if you are criticised and it is unjust, if it is meant to simply tear you down remember, No One Ever Kicks a Dead Dog! You must be doing something right!