“I Fear We Have Become A Generation Of Critics!”


In a 2006 address entitled “Beginnings,” James Faust gave great counsel on how each hour can be a new start for each of us. He quoted Dale Carnegie who said this:

“Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.”

Faust went on to talk about having the courage to “change” and quoted Nehru, the great leader of India who said:

“Nothing in the world that is alive remains unchanging. All Nature changes from day to day and minute to minute, only the dead stop growing and are quiescent. Fresh water runs on, and if you stop it, it becomes stagnant. So also is it with the life of man [and of a woman] and the life of a nation.”

Faust then said this:

“I fear we have become a generation of critics. I am inclined to be more charitable with those who try even if they stumble than with those who will not try at all. Theodore Roosevelt said this about critics and doers: “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 no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

It is so easy to be critical of others! Let us not join the ‘generation of critics’ but be among those who support those that enter the arena of life who are not afraid to fail, because their failures and successes often lead to blessings in our lives. Better yet, let us not be afraid in leading the way in making positive changes in our private lives, as well as society, despite critics whose clarion call is one which is meant to discourage and shame us from so doing!

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