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 hotdog 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?
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