I just listened to +The Minimalists 055 Critics. I was not expecting to find it relevant to me, as though sometimes I would like to create, I do not define myself as a creator (perhaps I have not yet found the bravery and boldness to do so.) I thought their approach was a good one, and found myself empathising with Fields Millburn and his responses to critics. Once they got to the quote from Theodore Roosevelt though I made the connection to my own life.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
This quote, made the episode much more relevant for me. While I am not a creator I am an activist. I do my best to keep up with local issues and show up to as many events as I can that call for change where there are problems and discrimination. There are lots of people who oppose what we are doing strongly and vociferously, and lately I occasionally find myself in the comments section on a article for a project I participated in and read (and argue with) the criticism that is there. It takes a huge amount of energy. Now I am going to think of those crickets before getting into those conversations (or even reading the hatred that people have posted.). I will post my positive, constructive comment to combat the hate, then think of crickets. The people on the internet don't show up. They don't come to the meetings or town halls or demonstrations. They may drive around our demonstrations (and occasionally through) and be inconvenienced, but they don't bother to park get out of their cars and walk over to engage in a dialogue, so why should I spend my energy seeking out to engage them on the Internet.
So thanks guys. I am going to think of crickets.