Exploring Human Potential

7 & 7: Praise vs. Criticism


Criticism practiced well is counsel, practiced poorly, a disincentive. Praise practiced well is motivational, practiced poorly enabling. To be complimented, especially with good timing and when deserved, can be a source of strength and energy, and remembered for a lifetime. The same is true of criticism especially if unjust, or public, or written down to be preserved on paper. Gossip is criticism with no discipline and little purpose but to entertain. There is no scarcity of criticism on this earth. If you desire to escape it completely, you will have to resign from this world – nothing to do, nothing to say, nothing to be. If every one admires you perhaps you follow too much. Try leading. Try modeling. It will lead you to true friends, and occasionally a foe.


It is well enough, when one is talking to a friend, to lodge in an odd word by way of council now and then; but there is something mighty irksome in it’s staring upon one in a letter, where one ought to see only kind words and friendly remembrances.
Mary Lamb

I can live for two months on a good complement.
Mark Twain

No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.
Bertrand Russell

Danger and delight grow on one stalk.
Old saying

To escape criticism – do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Elbert Hubbard

Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you.
Luke 6:26

Those things that hurt, instruct.
Benjamin Franklin

Children have more need of models than of critics.
Joseph Joubert

He makes no friends who never made a foe.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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