Former U.S. President John F. Kennedy received endless advice and criticism from the media concerning how he should run the country. Much of it he took good-naturedly. In fact, he often used a favorite story in response to the media’s comments about how they thought he could do a better job.
He told about a legendary baseball player who always played flawlessly. He consistently hit when at bat and was never thrown out at first. When on base he never failed to score. As a fielder, he never dropped a ball and he threw with unerring accuracy. He ran swiftly and played gracefully.
In fact, he would have been one of the all-time greats except for one thing–no one could ever persuade him to put down his beer and hot-dog and come out of the press box to play!
Most of us can empathize, for we all have people in our lives who criticize and second-guess. They are quick to point out flaws and quicker yet to offer advice.
When it comes to receiving criticism, I believe it helps to remember first that not all criticism is invalid. Wisdom listens for the kernel of truth and saves it for future growth. But when criticism seems unfair, I believe it helps to remember the hawk. When attacked by crows, it does not counterattack. Instead, the hawk soars higher and higher in ever- widening circles until the pests leave it alone.
When there is nothing to learn from criticism, can you rise above it and soar?