July 5, 2014

I criticize through creation, not by finding fault

Marcus Tullius Cicero 
Words attributed to Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman philosopher, orator, politician, lawyer and consul.

I think of this phrase when I am tempted to chastise my colleagues, both privately and publicly, if only because their work speaks for itself. Even behind closed doors, words meant for private instruction too often gossip. 

Go past all that, says the little voice in my head. Write about that odd page in that musty journal which contains a once long-held, yet now forgotten teaching. Let it live and breath again in the stream of pixels and megabytes for those who want to know something of the past, if only so they can live more fully in the present. Write it down as well as you can and let it go. You don't have to do as others do or say. Each has his own voice. 

Years ago, I attended a workshop on creating a business at the Open Center here in New York City. This was not a conventional presentation, the topic being addressed through journaling and an investigation of one's past rather than a summation of one's skills, though that too was considered. The presenter having worked with many clients privately found that the majority started their businesses with a sense of love for their work, while a distinct minority—no less successful—pursued their businesses with a feeling of anger and discontent. Isn't that interesting? I thought. Clearly, you are not in the minority, but you might keep them in mind. It's a free country after all. Just stay out of their way. You know not the reason why. 

Move on. Mr. Sondheim says. Stop worrying if your vision is new. Let others make that decision—they usually do. You keep moving on. 

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