You’ve probably been made fun of before. I’d be shocked if you weren’t. We’ve all been made fun of at some point in our lives. We can’t deny it, and it probably kept you up at night, wondering about the truth behind the statement, and maybe it even forced a change out of you. In this article, I’m not going to hold your hand through the pros and cons of criticism, I’m going to shove the pros down your throat and ignore the so-called “cons” like we’re in a particular western government.
Criticism is seen as the bad guy but I see it as the vigilante. It challenges people, and people do not like a challenge and they certainly do not like when a challenge begins to feel like a threat to their character. This is why criticism is so frequently rejected. People take such pride in themself and their work that when they are met with critiques they protest. They question how they could have possibly made a mistake, and fall into denial. In the words of famous writer Norman Vincent Peale, “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” Now this was a man who advocated positive living and optimistic principles, but even he can see the value behind criticism.
No matter how harsh it may seem, even negative advice still has value. Take Gordon Ramsey, for example. His whole attitude is intended to help his chefs improve. He may seem harsh and blunt, but watch a season of his show, watch as his chefs go from insecure, sad, weak chefs to strong, independent, seasoned chefs who are now equipped to take angry comments from any customer. The change in attitude of the chefs is impressive to witness and Gordon’s persistence not only helps them become better chefs, but it encourages them to become better people.
No matter how overused the statement is, we all know negative experiences build character. We can’t ignore that, it’s a solid fact I will argue till the day I die. Not only do they shape you into the people you are but they build your resilience to negativity. Being able to endure hurtful, hateful statements is an important skill that’s hard to find today. People are so used to being babied and pampered they freak out when faced with even the smallest form of critique. Those who grow up in environments that refuse to acknowledge the errors and mistakes made in early childhood are set up for failure when they get thrown into the real world. It’s sad because there’s so much potential for greatness but people are too sensitive to open themselves up to criticism.
Even with all this said, criticism is only helpful to people who can appreciate it. So, go outside today and say something mean to someone, but say it with love and respect. Love you, bye!
Danielle Unsworth is a Junior at Washington High School. She grew up in Fremont, California. This is her first year in journalism and she's very excited to be included. She enjoys writing about her opinions as well as arts and current events. In her free time she likes to garden and take care of her plants as well as read books and listen to music. Danielle plans on attending UC Berkeley and becoming a lawyer in the future.