‘Unjust Criticism’

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04th May, 2022

Thinking of this subject, I always remember what Dale Carnegie wrote in his book, ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Living’

“unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment. The more important a dog is, the more satisfaction people get in kicking him.”

Consider this story that Dale Carnegie shared in the same book of Admiral Robert Peary who startled and thrilled the world by reaching the North Pole with dog sleds in 1909 – a goal that brave men for centuries had suffered and starved and died to attain. Peary himself almost died from cold and starvation; and eight of his toes were frozen so hard they had to be cut off. He was so overwhelmed with disasters that he feared he would go insane. His superior naval officers in Washington were burned up because Peary was getting so much publicity and acclaim. So they accused him of collecting money for scientific expeditions and then “lying around and loafing in the Arctic”. And they probably believed it, because it is almost impossible not to believe what you want to believe. Their determination to humiliate and block Peary was so violent that only a direct order from President McKinley enabled Peary to continue his career in the Arctic.

So, if someone like Admiral Peary who achieved something amazing and praiseworthy can still be criticized, perhaps his story can give us comfort the next time we’re attacked by unjust criticism.

If, in your heart, you know who you really are and what you did was the right thing to do, unjust criticism should be considered and analyzed whether it truly has any merit, but not be given permission to belittle what you are trying to achieve.

Even if we do everything right, the reaction we receive from others might be that of annoyance, disrespect, and jealousy. If we’re not living with an ‘Inner Scorecard,’ (more about it on another day) such a response will crush us.

We have a choice,

In the face of unjust criticism, we can become bitter or better, upset or understanding, hostile or humble, furious or forgiving.

Live by your ‘inner scorecard, don’t let the unjust criticism hinder you & stay blessed forever.