In this inspirational Steve Goodier article, he shares a key piece of life wisdom about criticism. Enjoy!

One of my favorite stories comes from pilots Peter Gaylor and Stephanie Pound of Navajo Aviation. A funny thing occurred once when they flew their tiny airplane over the bay on an ash-scattering mission. With them were the two sons, in their twenties, of a late mother who was being consigned to the winds.

As Stephanie opened the cockpit door, a stiff breeze blew the ashes back into the plane, dusting the four occupants. A moment’s stunned silence, and then one of the boys sighed, “Just like Mom – she was always all over everyone.”

Maybe it was because she was their mother and believed it was her lot to correct. Children, especially, may feel that parents are “always all over them.” Few of us particularly like others to point out areas for improvement. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale said it well: “Most of us would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”

I hold that encouragement is often more effective than criticism, and we should criticize sparingly. But those who are wise will regularly seek out someone they trust to hold a mirror before them that they may see themselves more accurately. It is important to know the truth, and it is often heard better when spoken by one who sincerely cares.

Someone accurately said, “Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish one’s growth without destroying one’s roots.” If you are in a position to critique, may your words nourish growth.

If you are the one reflected in the mirror, remember that what you see may be your salvation. Learn what you can and discard the rest. It may be more enjoyable to be ruined by praise, but what truth you hear will help you grow.

© Steve Goodier. All rights reserved.

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