It's a typical Sunday morning. The house is quiet and as usual I'm up early. Sunday morning topics are always a little random. So, I was getting my morning inspiration from a great little book, "Don't forget to sing in the lifeboats." by Kathryn and Ross Petras, when I found the gem below. The link to their book is on the left, if you want to read more or buy any of their books.
I found this quote by Teddy Roosevelt that just connected with me. I know it's a long one to absorb, but these are stunning words and thoughts...
"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 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 and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for 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 he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
Here's why it's so on point with my thoughts this morning:
I'm so tired of listening to people who criticize from the sidelines. Most often, in photography, they'll rip somebody's image apart in one of the forums as they hide behind the anonymity of their monitors. Then, there's the hurtful chatter through the grapevine, as so many people seem to love to pounce on rumors of bad news. When you question their source, they get indignant and respond with, "Well, it was on the Internet!"
It's a really short point this morning and directed to those of you "actually in the arena". You guys are the only ones who count. As hurtful as they can be, ignore the critics when they act like they're entitled to input on your life. There's nothing wrong in listening and here and there. Sometimes the critics might even be right, but it's so important to remember they don't get to vote on what you're doing.
Take ownership of everything you do and simply accept not everything you do will always be hit. As Teddy Roosevelt suggested, appreciate the triumph of your achievements and your failures, because at least you did something!
Wishing everybody a terrific Sunday and as always, it's the perfect time to hug somebody special in your life.
2/8/2015 01:39:09 am
What a great post. My photography teacher in college hammered it home often. We spent one class period a week doing critique. He would say that we should take criticism that we felt helped but in the end it was our image and what we thought mattered. Thanks for a great reminder this morning
2/8/2015 02:05:08 am
This is such a current and pertinent post as I heard only a day ago of the shameful sideline jibes at an extremely respected colleague. This happens all too often in the ranks of Social Photography and as an ex Industrial, Commercial and Advertising Photographer, this behaviour never ceases to shock me. If 105 of the energy spent on vitriol and spite could be redirected into business generation, what a healthy industry we would be in. You're not alone in your musings Skip and exposing this behaviour is the best way to attempt to eradicate it.
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