January 14

“Don’t be afraid of verbal abuse or criticism. Only the morally weak feel compelled to defend themselves to others. Let the quality of your deeds speak on your behalf.”                – Epictetus.

No matter what you do, how well you do it, or how nice you might be there are always going to be people who have something negative to say about you or something you’ve done. It happens to everyone. Your favorite author is someone else’s least favorite. Same goes for artists, bands, politicians and on and on. Even humanitarians aren’t safe.

If everyone else has to endure being criticized by someone then you should feel fortunate that you are not going to be left out. Of course the caveat to today’s thought is that your deeds or actions should be of a caliber that they can do the speaking for you. Today’s thought also doesn’t tell us not to listen to the criticism we will get from others. Only to not be afraid of it and not to bother to defend yourself to others.

If someone has the courage or lack of self awareness to criticize you to your face, thank them. Take it in, think about what they say. Don’t take it personal because it’s not and don’t defend yourself or try to explain your actions, instead thank them for the feedback and if there is anything to gain from the criticism, use it. Otherwise continue to do your best work and compare yourself today only to the level you were at in the recent past.

virtus fortis vocat

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