1186. People who judge others say more about who they are than those they judge. ~Donald L. Hicks

I hate to go mincing through life, afraid to take
a single long step for fear somebody is watching.
I want to “wave my wild tail and walk by my wild lone.
~Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of,
among other things, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

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validation, noun • the recognition or affirmation of the validity or worth of (a person or their feelings or opinions); causing (a person) to feel valued or worthwhile

Ya know, there are some words and/or expressions that just irritate the heck out of me. As an educator I hated it when my daughter or any other child for that matter was labeled as an over achiever because she and they excelled academically and/or in sports or music or art or whatever. Why do people do that? We should celebrate the success of anyone who is working hard and attempting to reach their full God-given potential. I don’t like the expression under-achiever either. Or geek. Or retard. Or freak. Or any other of those thoughtless labels that make a person feel stupid or like an outsider. I taught way too long not to know that we are all unique, not only in who we are but also in how we think and how fast we acquire knowledge. And next who in the sam hill gives any one else on the planet the right to validate others. Who are they to decide if our feelings or opinions are worthwhile? Did I miss something in school? Is there some elected or appointed group who’s allowed to make such decisions about the rest of us? I don’t think so! But then perhaps I, too, was too busy being an “over achiever” and so missed the election of such enlightened individuals. Wrong again! We are, all of us, children of the Creator of all that is, and God Almighty is the ONLY voice we should and must listen to about such things. Scripture says we are all given spiritual gifts and that there is a purpose in them. And though the Lord forgives us of our failures and shortcomings if we ask with a contrite heart, I think He still fully intends for us to give the gift of life He has granted us our best effort! So instead of all this name calling and judging and criticizing, people need to be encouragers and validators of a person’s inherent worth and abilities. In fact, that is something which the Lord charges each and every one of us to do. Lastly I don’t fit in a “box,” you don’t fit in a “box,” nobody fits in a “box” of man’s making! And before someone cleverly quips that men just need to create bigger boxes then, unless they are able to create the DNA of a me and a you and endow us with our gifts, they can’t  even begin to create boxes big enough to do that!

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. ~Romans 12:6-9  ✝

1093. When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about the speaker’s own need to be critical. ~Unknown

To live a creative life we must
lose our fear of being wrong.
~Joseph Chilton Pearce

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Part 1: I’m always heart-sickened to hear that someone has been attacked and/or criticized for what they’ve posted on their blog. And now I’ve heard about it happening often enough that I’m going to have my say about critics and why what they do is uncalled for and unfair. First off life is all about failure and has been since any of us came into existence. For example an infant tries many times to raise its head off his/her mother’s shoulder before he or she succeeds. Then as the baby attempts to crawl, he/she gets up on his/her hands and knees only to collapse back onto the floor over and over again. Next comes the child’s attempts to walk which is another period of success and failure before he/se actually takes off making substantial forward progress. And on and on the learning process goes. Now, before I go on, is there anyone so heartless that he/she would belittle or mock a child for these trials? I hope not! So why is that as we grow and try bigger and more complex things that others feel compelled to criticize? I believe, like Shannon L. Alder, that “often those who criticize others reveal what he himself lacks.” Or like James Russell Lowell that “a sneer is the weapon of the weak.” Or like Emmet Fox that “criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.” Or like Chuck Palahniuk that “it’s easy to attack and destroy an act of creation, but it’s a lot more difficult to perform one.” Or like an unknown author who said that “criticism is the disapproval of people, not for having faults, but for having faults different from his/her own.” But my favorite comment about criticism is this passage below by Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States:

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 them 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 short again and again;
because there is not effort without error and shortcomings;
but who does actually strive to do the deed;
who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion,
who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at 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 know neither victory nor defeat.
~Theodore Roosevelt

As a teacher, I used to hate that a student had been hurt and criticized so much at home and/or at school that he or she was unwillingly or very timid about trying new things and risking failure for fear of ridicule from his/her peers or adults. NO ONE has the right to criticize anyone’s creativity or thoughts. If a reader does not like what he/she reads on someone’s blog, all he/she has to do is move on and not read on and/or better yet choose not to follow that blog. No one forces anyone to come to our sites or to read and/or look at what we put on them. What we post comes from a need deep within ourselves, and therefore is sacred. I will address that need in Part 2 of this tomorrow. The gist of it is that: “Sometimes people try to expose what’s wrong with someone else because they can’t handle everything that’s right about them” or that “Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship. ~Zeuxis”

Here’s an interesting website that lists some well-known people who were criticized and rose to fame and/or success because they followed their dreams despite critical, bloviating naysayers:

They Did Not Give Up
http://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Pajares/OnFailingG.htm

But I have a mind as well as you: I am not inferior to you. ~Excerpt from Job 12:3   ✝

**Image via Pinterest; text added by Natalie